LOS ANGELES(AP) Charlie Haeger baffled the Cubs with his knuckleball, Matt Kemp and Casey Blake homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Chicago 2-0 Saturday to win their third game in a row.
The NL West leaders haven't been on this kind of roll since taking five straight from July 18-22. All three wins have come against the struggling Cubs, who lost for the 10th time in 13 games.
Chicago managed four hits a day after getting one-hit on the road for the first time in more than 23 years.
Jonathan Broxton struck out Kosuke Fukudome with the potential tying runs in scoring position in the eighth. George Sherrill pitched the ninth and put two on before pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot grounded out to end it.
It was Sherrill's first save with the Dodgers, who shut out an opponent for the first time since July 31 in a 5-0 win at Atlanta.
Haeger (1-1) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings, struck out seven and walked four in his third major league start and second this season with Los Angeles. He lost 3-2 to St. Louis on Tuesday, allowing three runs and five hits in seven innings.
He helped himself by getting six outs on fly balls on an afternoon when blazing sun made it hard to see and temperatures reached the low 80s in humid conditions as rare in Los Angeles as the right-hander's knuckler.
Haeger worked with retired All-Star Charlie Hough on his knuckleball during spring training. Clearly he learned a few things from the master, getting the Cubs to consistently overswing on pitches that clocked in the low 70s (mph).
Haeger received a standing ovation when manager Joe Torre took him out after walking Sam Fuld to open the eighth.
Broxton came on and struck out former Dodger Milton Bradley . Kemp lost Derrek Lee 's drive to right in the sun, letting it drop for a double. But Broxton got out of the jam by striking out Aramis Ramirez and Fukudome to end the inning.
Kemp's solo homer on a 3-2 pitch from Ted Lilly (9-8) with one out in the second gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The ball traveled an estimated 449 feet, landing on the sidewalk behind the Dodgers' bullpen in left field. It was Kemp's 18th homer, tying his career high, and his 77th RBI, also a personal best.
Lilly gave up two runs and three hits in six innings, struck out five and walked none in losing for the second time in three starts.
Blake hit his 15th homer in the fourth.
Fuld robbed Mark Loretta of an extra-base hit in the second when he caught a long fly at the wall in left field to end the inning.
Fuld also made a sliding catch of Brad Ausmus ' fly ball in the third, with his momentum carrying him face-first into the bullpen fence. But he hung onto the ball and got up covered in dirt. When he wasn't hitting the wall, Fuld twice stole second.
NOTES: Theriot wasn't in the starting lineup because of a bruised knee that he hurt Friday. ... Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano , who was 0 for 6 in the first two games of the series and is hitting .143 on the seven-game West Coast trip, didn't start. He drew a walk as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. ... The Dodgers rested starters Andre Ethier , James Loney and Russell Martin . Ethier entered in the ninth. ... Ausmus caught Haeger because of his experience handling knuckleballs.
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