CHICAGO (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers' offense helped out Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco allowed three solo home runs, but the Dodgers' offense led the way in a 6-4 comeback victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
``I made three terrible pitches,' Nolasco said. ``When those balls leave your hand, you know they're not coming back.'
The team arrived at its downtown hotel at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.
``The key is just coming in every day and grinding,' Nolasco said. ``The guy's had a tough flight yesterday, coming in early. But once it becomes game time, everybody knows the job we have to do.'
Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo each homered twice for the Cubs, who lost for the fourth time in five games. The Cubs finished with five hits.
Yasiel Puig hit a long home run and scored two runs, and Hanley Ramirez and Jerry Hairston each drove in two runs to help pick up Nolasco.
It also gave the Dodgers a win a night after having a four-game winning streak snapped and improved their record to 11-2 since the All-Star break.
``But, you know, it was a good thing nobody's on. Three bad pitches and those pitches usually go out of any park. I was able to give us a chance to win and Jerry came through with that big hit. The offense is eventually going to come around and score. It's a good feeling.'
The Dodgers have won 11 straight road games, with their last loss away from home coming on July 6 at San Francisco.
``It was a win; that's what I like,' manager Don Mattingly said. ``It was a little bit of a battle. At the end of the day, if you get a win on a day like this. ... I thought the boys pushed it pretty good.'
Nolasco (7-9) lasted just five innings. Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his 15th save.
Things didn't look good early for the Dodgers when the Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on back-to-back solo homers from Lake and Rizzo.
The Dodgers tied it in the top of the third inning on a two-run double by Ramirez, scoring Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.
The Cubs reclaimed a 3-2 lead in the bottom half on another solo homer by Lake.
Cubs starter Chris Rusin (1-1) was sharp in the fourth and fifth innings, but appeared to get tired in the sixth. He was pulled after allowing a single and a walk to the first two batters.
``My stuff was there. I thought in the third inning I left a couple pitches up and they put it down in the corner and scored a couple runs,' said Rusin, who allowed four runs in five-plus innings
``They're a good team. You can't make those mistakes because they'll capitalize on it.'
Following a sacrifice bunt by eighth-place hitter Tim Federowicz, Hairston pinch hit for Nolasco and singled off reliever Michael Bowden to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead.
One out later, Puig doubled to send runners to second and third and Gonzalez dropped a soft liner into center to make it 5-3. Cubs center fielder David DeJesus threw out Puig at the plate with a perfect one-hop throw.
Rizzo added another solo homer in the eighth, his second two-homer game of the season, to pull the Cubs within a run, but Puig answered with a long solo blast in the top of the ninth.
``That's what I like about the win, the fact that we come from behind,' Mattingly said. ``They go back up again and we're able to come back again. Jerry gets a big hit. Jerry's hit was huge and then Adrian and Yasiel get us add-ons. We needed every one of them.'
NOTES: RHP Carlos Marmol returned to Wrigley Field for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers on July 2. ``I feel great wearing the uniform,' he said before the game. ``I'm in first place right now. I'm so happy.' ... The Cubs announced the signing of 16-year-old OF Eloy Jimenez from the Dominican Republic. Jimenez was considered one of the best international prospects available this season. ... Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3) faces LHP Travis Wood (7-7) in the second game of the series.
The Associated Press News Service
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