CHICAGO — The Dodgers celebrated the evolution of both their cash-infused franchise and cutter-throwing closer Saturday.
Their 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field was their 13th consecutive road win, establishing a new franchise record . Another flawless ninth inning by Kenley Jansen prompted Manager Don Mattingly to compare him to Mariano Rivera.
But a black brace that covered Yasiel Puig's left wrist and hand offered an uncomfortable reminder how easily a dominant team could be turned into something far less formidable.
Puig was injured on a sliding catch on a line drive to right field by Starlin Castro in the seventh inning. Puig's glove hand caught the outfield grass and bent backward.
Though uncertain if Puig would play in the series finale Sunday, Mattingly said he didn't expect him to be out for more than a day or two. Then again, Mattingly initially offered a similar medical opinion when Matt Kemp sprained his ankle two weeks ago. Now, the Dodgers aren't counting on Kemp to return until September.
Puig didn't sound particularly concerned.
"I have to wait and see how I feel when I come to play tomorrow," Puig said. "I'll take some swings and see how I feel."
Asked where he was injured, Puig pointed to the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and index finger. He said he sustained a similar injury on a similar play in the minor leagues in April. That time, he was sidelined for 10 games.
"It's better than it was then," Puig said.
Puig covered a lot of ground on the painful catch, but it wasn't even his most memorable defensive effort. In the third inning, pitcher Jeff Samardzija hit a ball down the right-field line in foul territory. Puig deflected the ball with his glove into the nearby wall and hit the wall himself. As he hit the ground, he somehow managed to catch the ball. The umpires ruled, correctly, that it was a foul ball and not caught.
Puig was two for three with a run scored, but the victory was largely a credit to the Dodgers' pitching.
Chris Capuano blanked the Cubs for 61/3 innings by forcing them to ground into three double plays. This marked the third time in his last four starts that Capuano held the opposition scoreless.
He left the game with a 3-0 lead, as Carl Crawford singled in two runs in the top of the sixth inning.
The bullpen recorded several vital outs to preserve the victory.
Deposed closer Brandon League, once banished to mop-up duty, was called on to face Cody Ransom in the seventh inning with one out and men on the corners, and Ransom grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
League hasn't given up a run in his last seven appearances.
Paco Rodriguez entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning and walked Anthony Rizzo to load the bases. He fell behind Welington Castillo, 3-and-1, but struck him out to maintain the Dodgers' three-run edge.
Mattingly reserved his highest praise for Jansen, who needed only 13 pitches to retire the side in the ninth inning and record his 16th save.
"He's been really efficient," Mattingly said. "He's at 12 pitches, he's at 10 pitches. He's not wasting any pitches. He's throwing strikes. He's attacking the zone. That tells me there's a confidence in him.
Jansen was flattered by the comparison, but downplayed it.
"I'm way far from Mariano, man," Jansen said. "I have a whole lot more to accomplish. Mariano is a legend."firstname.lastname@example.org