10/01/08 10:15 PM ET
Dodgers Short Hops: Game 1
Loney's grand slam swings momentum toward Dodgers
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
James Loney put the Dodgers on top with a grand slam while Derek Lowe pitched a gem with six innings of two-run ball.
Andre Ethier swung at what would have been ball four to strike out on a full count with two outs and the bases loaded in the third, but Loney picked him up two innings later.
8 -- The Dodgers' drew eight walks, three of which set up Loney's grand slam. The walks forced the Cubs to pull Ryan Dempster after 4 2/3 innings, putting a strain on Chicago's bullpen. Game balls
With the Dodgers trailing 2-0, Loney made sure the team took advantage of three walks in the fifth by hitting a two-out grand slam that swung the momentum of the game.
Lowe did not let Mark DeRosa's early homer beat him, giving up only those two runs in his six innings to give the Dodgers' offense time to come back.
Ramirez slugged an insurance homer in the seventh, walked in front of Loney's grand slam in the fifth and even legged out an infield hit to load the bases in the third.
Sense of October
When Loney hit his grand slam, the entire Dodgers team was at the top step of the dugout enthusiastically celebrating the long ball.
5 AB, 1 H, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R
Comment: Loney's grand slam was the difference in the game and took the life out of the previously raucous crowd.
6 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 6 Ks
Comment: Aside from a wind-aided DeRosa home run, Lowe didn't give up anything. He was pulled after 94 pitches and six innings possibly to save a few bullets for Game 4, when Lowe is a candidate to return on short rest.
"This is where you want to be, 1-0 right now, and we need to finish this thing off as soon as we can." -- Loney
The Dodgers will send their leader in wins, ERA and strikeouts to the mound in Game 2 in Chad Billingsley, who will be pitching to give his club a commanding 2-0 lead before heading to Los Angeles for Game 3.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.