Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - James Loney clubbed a two-out grand slam in the fifth inning and Manny Ramirez homered in the seventh as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs, 7-2, in the opener of their National League Division Series.
Russell Martin also hit a solo shot in the ninth for the Dodgers, who took advantage of eight walks, including three in the decisive fifth inning, to post their second playoff victory (2-12) since winning the 1988 World Series. Casey Blake added an RBI single in the eighth inning for the NL West champions.
Derek Lowe (1-0) had six strikeouts over six innings in his eighth career playoff start. The right-hander gave up seven hits with Chicago's lone two runs coming on a homer by Mark DeRosa in the second inning. Lowe allowed a base runner in each one of his innings, but managed to consistently escape trouble.
Ryan Dempster (0-1) was charged with seven of the walks, as he yielded four hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings for the Cubs, who have been snake-bitten in the postseason. It's been 100 years since they last won a World Series title. They were swept in the first round of the 2007 playoffs by Arizona.
Dempster came into the contest with a 14-3 mark at Wrigley Field this year, the most since Ferguson Jenkins had a franchise-record 15 in 1967, but control problems in the fifth factored heavily in the defeat of the NL Central champions.
The Cubs went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be Thursday night. Chad Billingsley will be on the mound for the Dodgers, while Carlos Zambrano pitches for Chicago.