James Outman’s 9th-inning slam sends Dodgers past Cubs

Apr 20, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) slides safely into second base under Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Luke Williams (37) during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie James Outman clubbed a tiebreaking grand slam in the ninth inning, his second homer of the night, and the Los Angeles Dodgers cooled off the host Chicago Cubs with a 6-2 victory on Thursday night.

With the score 2-2, the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, Outman lined a pitch from Michael Fulmer (0-2) into the right field basket. The Dodgers began the four-game set with a needed victory following a 2-4 homestand that included losing two of three to the Cubs.

Outman also homered in the third, one inning after Max Muncy’s eighth home run of the season for Los Angeles. David Peralta and Miguel Vargas each had two hits for the Dodgers, who got three-plus innings of two-run, five-hit ball from starter Michael Grove before he left with a right groin strain.

Cody Bellinger homered for Chicago, which had won four straight and 10 of the previous 13 and entered leading the NL with an average of 5.21 runs.

After scheduled Cubs starter Jameson Taillon was scratched and placed on the 15-day injury list due to a left groin strain, Javier Assad was called up from Triple-A Iowa, and he allowed two solo homers, one other hit and two walks in three innings.

Muncy got the scoring started when he opened the second with a homer into the right field bleachers. Bellinger, an ex-Dodger, tied things in the bottom of the inning with his solo drive just to the left of the center field batter’s background against Grove.

Los Angeles regained the lead when Outman went deep to right-center field in the third.

Grove left the game after allowing a walk to Eric Hosmer and a double to Trey Mancini to open the Cubs’ half of the fourth. Dodger relievers Phil Bickford entered and eventually gave up an RBI single to Nico Hoerner, though Mancini was thrown out trying to score on the play.

Caleb Ferguson (1-0) picked up the win after throwing a scoreless eighth inning. Mookie Betts returned to the Dodgers from paternity leave and he went 1-for-2 off the bench while making his first major league appearance at shortstop.

The game started following a 64-minute weather delay.

–Field Level Media

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