Montgomery takes pride in keeping Cubs in game

Montgomery takes pride in keeping Cubs in game

LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers' Josh Reddick lined a ball off Mike Montgomery's right leg on Friday night, it definitely hurt. But the Cubs left-hander wasn't going to show it.

"I wasn't coming out unless it was broken," Montgomery said on Saturday.

The lefty did not get a decision in the Cubs' 6-4, 10-inning win over the Dodgers, but he was pleased with the outing, especially how he finished the fifth inning by striking out Reddick and Chase Utley to strand two.

"In my mind, that was a win to keep it close," Montgomery said. "Obviously, I expect more and to perform better, but I think under the circumstances, you go out and battle, you have to be happy with it. To give your team a chance to win is the name of the game for a starter."

It was a homecoming for Montgomery, who grew up in nearby Mission Hills, Calif. He had nearly 50 friends and family at the game, his first as a pro at Dodger Stadium. Montgomery had pitched at the ballpark during a showcase event, but there were 20 scouts in the stands at that time. On Friday, there were 48,609.

"I treated this like another game, but being from here, it's a different feeling," Montgomery said. "It was fun and exciting. It's cool, being from here, and going to games here and growing up here, it's the team that you grew up watching. It was fun."

He even successfully bunted and got to run the bases, scoring on Anthony Rizzo's single in the fifth.

Rizzo's RBI single

"That was my first ever bunt attempt," he said. "I'd had seven at-bats since high school."

Montgomery is subbing for John Lackey, who is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, but should be eligible after Sept. 1. Lackey was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday. Montgomery will stay in the rotation for now, and his next start will be Wednesday against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.