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Reign kings: Cubs party, walk off on Dodgers

April 11, 2017

CHICAGO -- The Cubs didn't let a little rain ruin their party Monday night. They raised the banner to commemorate the 2016 World Series championship, hoisted the trophy one more time on the field, then beat the Dodgers, 3-2, on Anthony Rizzo's walk-off RBI single in a game that began

CHICAGO -- The Cubs didn't let a little rain ruin their party Monday night. They raised the banner to commemorate the 2016 World Series championship, hoisted the trophy one more time on the field, then beat the Dodgers, 3-2, on Anthony Rizzo's walk-off RBI single in a game that began nearly two hours late because of inclement weather.
With the game tied at 2 in the ninth against Sergio Romo, pinch-hitter Jonathan Jay singled and advanced on Thomas La Stella's ground out. Romo was replaced by Kenley Jansen, who struck out Kristopher Bryant. Jay stole third on the third strike, and Rizzo then slapped a single to left for the game-winner, his first RBI of the season.
"I'll remember this day for as long as I play baseball," Rizzo said. "The walk-off caps it off, but that pregame ceremony, I really, honestly didn't think it would be that [emotional]."
Gold Cubs, Gold! W flies, now bring on rings
It was Rizzo's sixth career walk-off RBI hit.
"I executed my pitch, he fought it off; he was strong enough, and he put it in play," Jansen said of the cutter up and in to Rizzo. "How many times you gonna see him do that? Not a lot."
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Neither starter got a decision. The Cubs' Jonathan Lester struck out seven over six innings, while the Dodgers' Alex Wood, subbing for injured Rich Hill, gave up two runs (one earned) over 3 2/3 innings.

The boisterous crowd of 41,166 could handle a delay. After all, it had been 108 years since the Cubs' last World Series championship. They not only raised banners for the 2016 NL pennant and World Series, but also flags to commemorate the 1907 and '08 World Series.
"It was a really special night for all of us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
During the 1 hour, 56 minute wait before the game, the Wrigley Field video board showed David Ross' performance on "Dancing With the Stars" and also replayed the decisive Game 6 of the NLCS, which was probably not must-see TV for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers were stymied by the Cubs' defense early in the game, but an error by shortstop Addison Russell led to the game-tying run in the eighth. Los Angeles had runners at first and second with one out when pinch-hitter Chase Utley hit into a fielder's choice. Russell tried to turn a double play, but his throw to first was wild, and John Forsythe, who was on second, scored on the play. Maddon felt Justin Turner, who slid into second, made contact with Russell, which threw him off balance.
"From the replay, it looked like when he went to throw it, Turner clipped his leg," Rizzo said. "It was a good slide, a hard slide. I'm sure, going back, [Russell] would probably just hold [the ball]."
Defense: The Dodgers tallied in the sixth on Corey Seager's RBI double, and had a golden opportunity in the seventh when C.J. Edwards walked two batters and another reached on catcher's interference. Justin Grimm took over and got Joc Pederson to fly out to right and pinch-hitter Alvin Toles to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Grimm punctuated the play with a demonstrative fist pump.

"Give [Grimm] some credit," Maddon said. "We had him warmed up before and sat him down for [Edwards], and when I thought it wasn't going well for C.J., we got him back up, and he did a great job."
"I think so. You can look at the National League, there's a lot of very good teams, but this is a team that brought its core, its nucleus, back, outside of a few players. Right now, they're the reigning champions." -- Manager Dave Roberts, when asked if the Dodgers had to go through the Cubs to get to the World Series
Lester is the fourth Cubs pitcher to start both the team's season opener when on the road and its home opener. He joins Grover Alexander (1920, '22), Rick Sutcliffe (1986, '88) and Jon Lieber (2000).
In the fourth, the Cubs loaded the bases with one out when Lester hit the ball to third baseman Justin Turner. He threw to Forsythe at second for the force on Javier Baez, but Baez was called safe. The Dodgers challenged the call, and after a review, it was overturned.

In the Dodgers' eighth, Turner was out at second on the force play, and the Cubs challenged the call, saying he slid into Russell. After a review, the call stood.

Dodgers left fielder Franklin Gutierrez left the game after the second inning and was being evaluated for a left hamstring strain. Gutierrez appeared to injure his leg trying to steal second base in the second, when he was thrown out by catcher Willson Contreras as Puig struck out. His status is day to day.

Turner was hit on the hand by a Pedro Strop pitch in the eighth, but he was removed in the bottom of the frame due to a sore quad he sustained on his hard slide into second.
"Probably minor, but in this weather, you've got to get him out of there," Roberts said. More >

Dodgers:Brandon McCarthy will look to win his second straight start when the series resumes Wednesday following a day off on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in six innings last Thursday against the Padres. First pitch is 5:05 p.m. PT.
Cubs:John Lackey will make his first start at Wrigley Field after picking up the win in his first start, striking out seven over six innings against the Cardinals. He was 7-4 with a 2.62 ERA at Wrigley Field last year. The Cubs players will receive their championship rings prior to the game. First pitch will be 7:05 CT.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

John Jackson is a contributor to and covered the Dodgers on Monday.