Loaiza pitches 7 strong innings as Dodgers defeat Cubs 11-3 Print
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Monday, 03 September 2007 14:02
MLB Headline News

 CHICAGO (AP) -Esteban Loaiza outpitched skidding Carlos Zambrano in his Dodgers' debut, helping Los Angeles stay within four games of the NL West lead.
Loaiza allowed three runs in seven innings and hit a two-run single, leading the Dodgers over the Chicago Cubs 11-3 Monday.
James Loney had three RBIs for Los Angeles, which is four games back of San Diego and three behind Arizona in the NL West.
NL Central-leading Chicago maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee and a two-game margin over St. Louis.
Loaiza (1-0) was claimed off waivers from Oakland on Wednesday, with the Dodgers assuming more than $8 million in guaranteed salary this year and next. He did not pitch this season until Aug. 22 due to a bulging disk in his neck, and the two-time All-Star was 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in two starts with the Athletics.
Against the Cubs, he gave up nine hits, struck out three and walked one, throwing 96 pitches.
Zambrano (14-12) lost his fifth straight start, giving up eight runs for the first time since June 22, 2005, at Milwaukee. He lasted 4 1-3 innings, his shortest outing since he went four innings against Cincinnati on April 13, and he was booed when he came out of the game. Zambrano pointed to his head once he reached the Chicago dugout.
Zambrano has a 9.56 ERA in three starts since the Cubs gave him a $91.5 million, five-year contract extension through 2012, and he is 0-5 with an 8.29 ERA in six starts since beating Cincinnati on July 29.
Every Dodgers starter had at least one hit. Alfonso Soriano homered leading off the first for Chicago.
Andy LaRoche's RBI grounder tied the score in the second, but Ryan Theriot singled for a 2-1 lead in the third. Zambrano had led off the inning with a single and tried to score from first on Soriano's double down the left-field line. Zambrano ran through third-base coach Mike Quade's stop sign and easily was thrown out at the plate on shortstop Rafael Furcal's relay of Luis Gonzalez's throw.
Zambrano walked three batters on the fourth, when LaRoche hit a tying double and Loaiza hit a two-run single - his first major league hit since Aug. 26, 2005.
Juan Pierre walked leading off the fifth, advanced when first baseman Derrek Lee dropped a pickoff attempt for an error and scored on Jeff Kent's RBI groundout. Russ Martin's run-scoring single made it 6-1 and chased Gonzalez.
Loney greeted Will Ohman with a a two-run double.
Soriano led off the first inning by hitting a 1-0 pitch into left field bleachers. It was Soriano's 38th career leadoff homer and first since June 23 at U.S Cellular Field against the White Sox.
Los Angeles tied the game in second inning. Gonzalez and Russell Martin hit back-to-back singles off Zambrano. They moved over on a groundout and Gonzalez scored on LaRoche's groundout.
Notes: Soriano has 38 homers leading off the first inning. ... Cubs C Jason Kendall missed the game with a swollen hand after getting by a pitch on Sunday. He is day to day. ... Crew chief umpire Joe West ordered the lights turned off in the bottom of the fourth since the lights weren't turned on at the top half of the inning.
 

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