CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't carry over the good vibes from their Sunday romp over the San Francisco Giants, returning to the grim realities of a team-wide batting slump and an ace who can't quite settle into a groove.
How it happened: Cubs pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada left the game in the third inning with a cramp in a shoulder muscle, but the Dodgers could do virtually nothing against the soft underbelly of the Cubs' bullpen. Travis Wood cruised through 3 1/3 innings. Kershaw didn't help himself by bunting into a double play in the third inning. The Dodgers got two runners on via walks, but Yasiel Puig got picked off second base by Cubs catcher David Ross.
Considering the wind was blowing out and the interruption he dealt with, Kershaw didn't pitch a bad game. He got through seven innings and struck out nine batters while giving up four hits, two of which were home runs. Had he managed one more strikeout, he would have been only the third Los Angeles pitcher to record 10 or more strikeouts in four straight starts. Some of the game's best young sluggers have gotten to Kershaw lately. Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers took him deep in his previous start and the Cubs' Kris Bryant hit a home run to right in the third inning. Bryant later hit a second long ball off reliever Adam Liberatore. Matt Szczur hit a solo home run off Kershaw in the seventh.
What it means: The Dodgers have been playing middling baseball for about a month, but the biggest issue for the team right now is getting the hang of winning on the road. The Dodgers are 12-19 away from Dodger Stadium.
Notable: There was a 10-minute delay in the sixth inning when some of the lights went out at Wrigley Field. Kershaw and Cubs manager Joe Maddon exchanged words at one point and Kershaw looked irritated with the umpires throughout the delay. After play resumed, the Cubs announced they were playing the game in protest. The full bank of lights came back on within 10 minutes of play resuming. ... Pederson broke back on an Anthony Rizzo pop-up in the third inning, reversed field, fell, got up and raced in to make a diving catch. Dexter Fowler injured his ankle on the play and was nearly doubled off first base. ... The Dodgers have a steady stream of relievers returning from injuries. Joel Peralta came off the 15-day disabled list before the game and, within the next few days, Brandon League and Pedro Baez also will return.