Dodgers have hands full with Cubs' pitching

In last two games against Chicago, Los Angeles has been held to one hit

Dodgers have hands full with Cubs' pitching

CHICAGO -- If the Dodgers are tired of facing Cubs pitching, nobody can blame them.

After being no-hit by Jake Arrieta last season at Dodger Stadium (Aug. 30, 2015), the Dodgers faced the Cubs Monday for the first time since that game and managed just one hit and two baserunners against a collection of Chicago pitchers in a 2-0 loss to open a four-game series at Wrigley Field.

Despite Cubs starter Jason Hammel leaving after two innings because of a cramp in his right hamstring, the Dodgers were unable to have a runner reach base in eight innings against relievers Travis Wood, Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon. After Justin Turner's single was followed by a walk to Adrian Gonzalez in the first, the Cubs retired the next 25 in a row.

"Once Hammel goes out there and we're into the bullpen in the third inning, you're thinking you can grind some at-bats and wear out the bullpen," Turner said. "It's Game 1 of a four-game series. [Wood] did a good job of pounding the zone and getting quick outs, and I think he went four innings. You have to tip your cap to him."

It was the first time since Arrieta's no-hitter last season the Dodgers have been limited to one or fewer hits. It was just the second time this season they've been shut out, with the last time April 27 against the Marlins.

Arrieta is starting Tuesday, so it won't get any easier.

It's just one of those games," manager Dave Roberts said. "We've got Arrieta [Tuesday]. We've got our hands full, but [it's] just going out there and putting at-bats together and [trying] to put some hits together."

The Dodgers didn't get into Chicago until early Monday morning because of their game against the Mets Sunday night in New York. Roberts scrapped the usual on-field batting practice session in favor of hitters taking swings in the batting cage, and most of the Dodgers arrived later to the ballpark than usual.

Roberts said the Dodgers normally would've taken batting practice on the field for a game that started at 4:05 p.m. CT, but opted for rest and the meetings that accompany the start of every series.

"There was still focus there," Roberts said. "There was still intent, but the energy was still there. I think the guys were excited about getting in there and playing today. As far as the late [arrival], getting in late, I don't think that had any effect on us."

Brian Hedger is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.