The Dodgers’ winning ways continued Sunday, but so did their hearts skipping a beat.
On an afternoon the Dodgers won their 14th consecutive road game with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field, their thoughts went less to extending their lead in the National League West to 5 1/2 games than the condition of shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
Ramirez, who has ignited the offense since returning from his second stint on the disabled list, left the game clutching his right shoulder after tumbling into the stands when making a catch in foul territory.
The Dodgers, who lost rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig to what they believe is a minor hand injury Saturday and have been playing without center fielder Matt Kemp since July 22, could hardly afford to lose Ramirez for any lengthy period of time.
Ramirez is batting .361 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI in 54 games, and entered Sunday’s game with a .651 slugging percentage, third in the major leagues.
The early word from the Dodgers was that Ramirez had jammed his right shoulder. Officials did not believe it was dislocated. He will be more extensively examined Monday, incluing an MRI. Previously in his career, Ramirez injured his left shoulder and required surgery.
Meanwhile, the victories kept coming for the Dodgers, who have gone 31-7 in their last 38 games.
Stephen Fife came off the disabled list (shoulder bursitis) to hold the Cubs scoreless in his 5 1/3 innings. Chris Withrow, J.P. Howell and Kenley Jansen completed the Dodgers’ second consecutive shutout over the Cubs.
The victory gave the Dodgers a sweep of the four-game series and left them 14-2 since the All-Star break.
Fife (4-3) gave up seven hits and two walks while striking out five.
He left the game with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, but Withrow came in to shut down the Cubs’ rally attempt.
Jansen, making his ninth appearance in 13 days, earned his 17th save and 10th in a row. He struck out the side and leads all major league relievers with 82 strikeouts.
The Dodgers scored the game’s only run after Ramirez and Andre Ethier led off the second inning with walks against right-hander Carlos Villanueva. A.J. Ellis laced a single up the middle to score Ramirez.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun