Cubs manager Lou Piniella was informed before Wednesday night's game that Ryan Dempster was 7-0 at Wrigley Field and 0-2 on the road.
"He hasn't won on the road?" Piniella said facetiously. "Stay home on this road trip."
the Cubs' first complete game of the season and his first since 2002 in a 7-2 victory over Atlanta.
The converted closer allowed two runs on four hits, striking out 11 with no walks while throwing 119 pitches. He's now 8-0 at Wrigley.
Dempster said he fed on the energy of the sellout crowd of 41,497, which was rocking from the outset when Kosuke Fukudome cranked a three-run homer in the first inning.
"I like it here, I like pitching on the road too," he said. "It just hasn't worked out. Hopefully I'll start getting some wins out there.
"I enjoy pitching at home, man. From running out in center field before the game where they're cheering for you, and going out there from the first pitch on, it's exciting, it's entertaining."
In his first full season as a starter since 2002, Dempster has been neck-and-neck with Carlos Zambrano as the team's most effective starter. He spent all off-season in a vigorous weight-training program to get in top shape and now all the hard work is paying off.
"He came to camp ready to fight [Oscar] De La Hoya for 15 rounds," Piniella said. "He was in shape and on a mission, and he has gotten off to a great start."
The Cubs took a quick lead in the first on a two-out walk to Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez's single and Fukudome's three-run blast into the right-field bleachers, his fifth. They added two more in the second on Ryan Theriot's two-run double and a pair in the third on Jim Edmonds' bases-loaded single.
The Braves spoiled Dempster's shutout bid with two runs in the seventh, but Piniella didn't even have anyone warm up in the bullpen in the ninth.
"He was nice and fresh. He deserved to finish," Piniella said. "And he did."
Cubs 7, Braves 2
Dempster complete game leads Cubs over Braves
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