Jeff Baker hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs got a banner day from the top of their lineup in a wild 10-8 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd combined for nine hits, six RBIs and four runs as Chicago roughed up Ted Lilly in his return to Wrigley Field. Castro tied a career high with four hits and Reed Johnson went 2 for 3 and scored twice.
The Dodgers scored seven unanswered runs to take an 8-5 lead before Chicago responded with a five-run eighth. The first three batters reached against Matt Guerrier (1-1), who hadn't allowed a run this season. Castro then lined a two-run single into center field and Barney tied it with a fielder's choice bouncer to shortstop Jamey Carroll.
Guerrier bounced back to strike out Byrd but left after Aramis Ramirez singled to put runners on first and third. Baker then greeted Blake Hawksworth with a drive into the gap in right-center, delighting the crowd of 41,161 at Wrigley Field.
Jeff Samardzija (2-0) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the win. Carlos Marmol worked around a one-out walk to Jerry Sands to earn his fifth save in seven opportunities.
Casey Blake, Matt Kemp and Rod Barajas homered for Los Angeles, which had won three straight and five of six. Blake hit a two-run shot in the Dodgers' three-run fifth and went 2 for 3 with two walks to run his career average against the Cubs to .333 (17 for 51).
Barajas tied it at 5 with a leadoff drive in the sixth inning and Andre Ethier added a tiebreaking two-run double with two out, extending his major league-best hitting streak to 20 games. Barajas added a run-scoring grounder in the seventh to give the Dodgers an 8-5 lead.
Ethier clapped his hands and pointed to the Los Angeles dugout after continuing his career-best streak. The All-Star right fielder went 1 for 4 and is batting .408 (31 for 76) in the longest run for a Dodgers player since Nomar Garciaparra had a 22-game hitting streak in 2006.
Lilly and Ryan Dempster locked up in a matchup of close friends but both pitchers struggled. Dempster allowed seven runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings in his fifth consecutive shoddy start to open the season, while Lilly yielded five runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings in his first game against the Cubs since he was traded to Los Angeles last season.
Chicago made the most of a couple of Los Angeles lapses while building a 5-1 lead. Rookie left fielder Sands lost Castro's third-inning flyball in the sun, letting it drop for a double. Lilly had Castro picked off in the fourth but first baseman James Loney's throw to second wasn't in time to get the speedy shortstop.
Castro advanced on a wild pitch in the third and scored on Barney's single to right. Barney added another run-scoring single in the fourth.