LA leans on rising rookies in huge homestand

LA leans on rising rookies in huge homestand

LOS ANGELES -- Dave Roberts had two words to describe a series that never saw a lead larger than two runs: playoff baseball. Given who his team beat this homestand, it's an atmosphere he certainly needs to start preparing for.

The Dodgers eked out a 1-0 win over the Cubs on Sunday, ending a homestand in which they won a series against the Giants, the only team left between them and the division crown, and the Cubs, owners of the best record in baseball.

"It means something," Roberts said. "I think that every game, every series is different, but a club like that, that's been by record the best team in baseball, for us to respond the way we did at home and win a series against those guys, it's a good thing."

Stewart fans eight in five

After the Cubs prevailed in extra innings Friday, the Dodgers needed career-best performances from a pair of rookie starters against one of the best lineups in baseball. Julio Urias and Brock Stewart delivered, combining for 11 innings with 16 strikeouts and just one run allowed.

"The future is bright," Stewart said. "We're glad we have the young guys that can help this team down the stretch and the veteran guys too. They've taken us under their wings and had some really good advice, so it's been fun."

Urias' outstanding outing

Even with those performances, the Dodgers prevailed by just a run in both wins as runs were hard to come by against a pitching staff that leads the Majors in ERA.

But Stewart and Urias were far from the only two rookies that supported the team during the homestand.

Corey Seager remains the Rookie of the Year favorite and is certain to get MVP votes. Andrew Toles scored the winning run Sunday and is now hitting .358 in his first 53 career at-bats. Rob Segedin homered Tuesday and could be one of the team's most important bench bats with Scott Van Slyke out for the year. Grant Dayton got a key out in the sixth inning Sunday. Ross Stripling threw five innings Thursday against the Giants.

"They keep exceeding expectations and we've put them in some tough spots," Roberts said. "When you look at the young players we've got, Stripling, Julio, and Brock, who've come up in big spots for us, their pulse has been unwavered."

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.