Hot Cubs look for second straight win against Dodgers

The Chicago Cubs will go for their third win in a row when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second installment of a three-game set on Wednesday night.

Chicago (11-10) has won six of its past seven games and has an opportunity to climb to a season-high two games above .500. The Cubs are coming off a dominant 7-2 win over the Dodgers in Tuesday's series opener.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles (15-10) remains in first place in the National League West despite dropping two of its last three games. The Dodgers won six in a row before their mini-skid, in which they have been outscored 17-8.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is hoping for a better performance from his hitters after a quiet night.

"We had chances to scratch our way back into the game," Roberts told SportsNet LA after falling short on Chicago's North Side. "We just couldn't get that big hit."

Cubs pitchers have frustrated plenty of hitters as of late. In each of their past six wins, Chicago hasn't allowed more than two runs.

Veteran left-hander Cole Hamels (3-0, 2.77 ERA) will try to maintain Chicago's stellar pitching streak when he takes the mound. The 35-year-old has allowed only one run in his past two starts, combining for a 2-0 record with a 0.60 ERA in that time.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon marveled at Hamels' most recent performance, in which he walked none and struck out eight during seven scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins.

"Woof, he was really good," Maddon told reporters. "And I think that's going to continue.

"Of course, he's going to have a bad outing once in a while, but the delivery, the ball out of the hand, the velocity numbers are so good. This could sustain itself for a bit."

Hamels is 3-2 with a 1.86 ERA in nine career starts against the Dodgers. He has walked nine and struck out 60 in 63 innings.

The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Walker Buehler, who finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting last season behind award winner Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and runner-up Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals.

Buehler (2-0, 5.40 ERA) has not found the same groove in four starts this season. He has surpassed five innings only once and has given up five earned runs in two separate outings.

In his only career appearance against the Cubs -- a one-inning relief stint on June 28 -- Buehler struggled badly. He was tagged for five runs on five hits in one inning for a 45.00 ERA. He walked one and gave up a solo homer to Albert Almora Jr.

One Dodgers player who could boost Buehler's run support is Cody Bellinger, who enters the game with a .416 batting average, 11 home runs and 28 RBI in 24 games. Bellinger is 1-for-1 with a double and two walks against Hamels.

As for the Cubs, four batters have a hit in their lone at-bat against Buehler: Almora (homer), Jason Heyward (double), Anthony Rizzo (double) and Willson Contreras (single).

Chicago is 6-3 at home. Los Angeles is 6-6 on the road.

--Field Level Media
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