Toles, McCarthy tarnish Cubs' rings party

Toles, McCarthy tarnish Cubs' rings party

CHICAGO -- The Cubs celebrated their World Series championship one more time on Wednesday, handing out diamond-, ruby- and sapphire-studded rings to the players. The Dodgers quickly brought the Cubs back to reality.

Andrew Toles defied the wind and hit a leadoff home run to back Brandon McCarthy and lift the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory over the Cubs and spoil the festivities.

"Wrigley got us, man," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's part of the game here. We know that. Toles crushed his -- that was low enough and the trajectory was better."

It seemed appropriate that John Lackey started for Chicago. Last August, the right-hander quipped: "I didn't come here for a haircut. I came here for the jewelry." He got his ring before heading to the bullpen to warm up for the game, played in chilly 45-degree weather. A total of 1,908 rings will be distributed to those connected with the Cubs -- fitting since 1908 was the last time the team won a World Series.

"It exceeded expectations," Chicago's Kyle Schwarber said of the ring. "That was unbelievable. It's a beautiful ring. It's perfect."

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The wind was blowing out of the east at 14 mph, but that didn't matter to Toles, who drove a 2-0 pitch from Lackey into the wind to right field for his first career leadoff home run. Toles got the start in place of Franklin Gutierrez, who was placed on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring.

"It wasn't a cheap homer," the Cubs' Jason Heyward said. "If it was to the right a little more, it might have been off the wall. That's the way it goes sometimes."

Said Toles: "[Lackey] threw it low and I hit it on a line so the wind was no factor because it was so low. It was a line drive."

McCarthy kept the Cubs in check, inducing double plays in the first, second and fourth innings. The right-hander, coming back from Tommy John surgery, scattered four hits over six innings.

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"Against a lineup like that, they'll take their walks all day," McCarthy said. "They're unbelievably disciplined. You have to be able to come into the zone to get results. We had to go with our best stuff and see how it matched up."

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Start me up: Lackey was miffed from the start when home plate umpire Greg Gibson called the first pitch a ball. The right-hander faced seven batters in the first, including Toles, and needed 32 pitches to get through the inning. Lackey then settled down to retire 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. He fanned 10 for his 22nd career double-digit strikeout game.

"I told him, 'You're getting better game in progress,'" Maddon said. "The first pitch might have been a strike, or was a strike, and I think that threw him off a little bit. Once he regrouped, he was outstanding after that." More >

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Utley's wild run: The Dodgers had a runner at first with two outs in the ninth against Hector Rondon. Toles battled Rondon in an eight-pitch at-bat, and struck out on a slider but the ball got away from catcher Willson Contreras. He threw to first, but the ball sailed into right field for an error. Chase Utley, who was on first, had a head start because he was running on the 3-2 pitch and scored. Rondon, however, had to leave the game with an apparent injury after Utley collided with him at home plate.

"There's probably [only] a handful of Major League players that would have [scored]," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It's just the attention to detail and the care."

Utley scores on error in 9th

Maddon felt Contreras may have rushed his throw.

"It's a throw he would make almost 100 percent of the time," Maddon said. "That's a tough run. Willie does so many good things. He's catching great, he's blocking the ball, he's calling a real good game."

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Don Zimmer used to say Wrigley Field was two different ballparks depending on the wind. That was evident Wednesday as nature stymied Anthony Rizzo. In the Cubs' sixth, Rizzo hit a ball 105 mph at a 28 degree launch angle, which, according to Statcast™, is a home run 81 percent of the time and has a 91 percent hit probability. Instead, center fielder Joc Pederson caught it for the second out. Contreras also hit a fly ball to left in the fifth that might have gone out if not for the wind.

"I guess [Toles] cut it right through it and kept it low enough," Schwarber said. "You can't hit the big high majestic homers. 'Riz' got into his and you saw what happened -- it didn't make it to the warning track. It's the nature of Wrigley, and you're going to have to deal with it."

INJURY UPDATE Rondon will be re-evaluated on Thursday after having to leave the game in the ninth with a sore left knee. He felt something pop as he tried to cover home plate.

"They said everything's good with my knee and we'll see tomorrow how I feel," Rondon said. "When I tried to catch the ball, I slipped and I felt it a little bit. ... Right now, I feel normal, a little sore, but nothing big."

Kris Bryant stole second in the Cubs sixth and was called safe, but the Dodgers challenged the call. After a review, the call was overturned, and the inning was over.

Dodgers: Hyun-Jin Ryu, who pitched in just one game the previous two years following shoulder surgery, makes his second start of the season Thursday. He allowed two runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings last Friday against the Rockies to get the loss in Los Angeles' 2-1 defeat. First pitch is at 11:20 a.m. PT.

Cubs: Brett Anderson will make his first start at Wrigley Field as a Cub, and will do so against his former team, the Dodgers. The lefty has never faced them. In his first start this season, he went 5 2/3 innings against the Brewers. First pitch will be 1:20 p.m. CT.

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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.

John Jackson is a contributor to based in Chicago and covered the Dodgers on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.