Cubs' Arrieta faces Dodgers in series opener

LOS ANGELES -- The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, the two best clubs in the National League last season, renew acquaintances this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta (5-3, 4.80 ERA) will face Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (5-0, 1.88) on Friday in the opener of their three-game set.

It is the second and final regular-season meeting between the teams. The Cubs captured two of three from the Dodgers when the two team met at Wrigley Field in April.

Chicago beat Los Angeles in six games in the NL Championship Series last year en route to winning the World Series.

On Thursday, the Dodgers (28-20) rallied from a three-run deficit for a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. That allowed Los Angeles to take two of three in the series and improve to 18-8 at home, the second-best home mark in the National League behind the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-8).

Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda was the catalyst, driving in the go-ahead runs and earning a decision. Maeda combined with Hyun-Jin Ryu, who earned a save in his first relief appearance with four scoreless innings.

"Those two guys back-to-back in a tandem situation is pretty lethal, and that's what it was tonight," Dodger manager Dave Roberts said.

Wood has been one of the Dodgers' biggest surprises this season. He began the year in the bullpen but filled in with starts for some of the club's injured starters and hasn't come out of the rotation since.

In his last outing, Wood threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on May 19. He struck out four and walked two.

Wood has a 1-2 record in seven games (four starts) with a 3.57 ERA against the Cubs. His last start against them occurred April 10 at Wrigley Field, where he allowed two runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings but did not factor into the decision in a 3-2 loss. Wood walked a career-high five and fanned four.

Arrieta will be making his 10th start of the season, seven of them coming on the road. In his last outing on Sunday, Arrieta limited the Milwaukee Brewers to one run (unearned) on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk in six innings during a 13-6 Cubs victory.

Arrieta is 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles. He has blanked the Dodgers in 16 consecutive innings. That stretch includes his first no-hitter on Aug. 30, 2015, at Dodger Stadium.

The Cubs (25-21) hit three solo homers to beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Thursday, capping a 7-2 homestand. It was Chicago's best homestand since an 8-2 stretch from Aug. 9-18, 2016.

"We know a lot of good things can happen if we're patient and aggressive in the strike zone," said Jason Heyward, who had one of the Cubs' long balls. "You can get a lot of momentum that way."

Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist also went deep for the Cubs, who added two eighth-inning runs on a wild pitch as they took three of four from the Giants.

Chicago has 26 home runs in its past 14 games, second most in the majors in that span.

The Cubs' six-game road trip includes three games each in Los Angeles and San Diego.
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