© 2010 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

05/26/10 1:47 AM ET

Cubs can even all-time mark vs. Dodgers

Somewhere, Tinker, Evers and Chance are all smiling.

After 126 years, the Cubs can finally catch the Dodgers. Tuesday's shutout win sliced the Dodgers' all-time record over the Cubbies to 1,017-1,016. Squaring that deal could be the next step on the Cubs' comeback trail.

Ryan Dempster is back, escorted by Derrek Lee. Carlos Zambrano is in the wings. All that ivy will soon turn green.

Seems that the real baseball season is about to begin for the Cubs, who can finally see .500 and anticipate what lies beyond.

Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, given the OK after taking a line drive off his pitching hand in his previous start, will try to fan the flames of the Cubs' hottest stretch of the season.

The Dodgers will try to rebound from a second straight loss for the first time since the beginning of the month behind Chad Billingsley.

Billingsley is back on the first-half beam that last season nailed down an All-Star berth. He has won three straight starts and overall is 5-2 -- in effect burying memories of his 3-7 fade in the second half of 2009.

The right-hander will be the first "lap" on the race to 300 between Alfonso Soriano and Lee, who hit his 299th career homer Tuesday to pull abreast of Soriano.

The Cubs have won seven of nine with the carryover effects of a tough road trip, which brought only a 3-2 record but also many encouraging signs.

"We played better baseball," manager Lou Piniella said of the tour through Philadelphia and Texas. "We played hard and we played better defensively. We played two good teams -- the Phillies and Rangers. It should give us a little momentum into this homestand. These are two good teams coming [the Cardinals after the Dodgers] in here. We'll know more where we're at by the end of this week."

Dodgers: Furcal returns to lineup
Shortstop Rafael Furcal came off the disabled list Tuesday to make his first start in nearly a month since the first game of an April 27 doubleheader in New York. Furcal did not go on the DL with the injury to his left hamstring until eight days later, but he didn't play in the interim. His two-error game made for a tough, but not uncharacteristic, return. His range and daring approach has always made him a high-errors shortstop. ... Despite consecutive losses, the Dodgers (16-6 in May with six games remaining) still have a shot at the best May in Los Angeles history; the 1962 club went 21-7.

Cubs: Marshall the go-to lefty setup man
Sean Marshall, who has moved ahead of John Grabow as Piniella's top left-handed setup man, has a 4-0 record in May with a 0.79 ERA. Piniella most likes the fact he has punched out 30 batters, compared to seven walks.

Worth noting
You wouldn't think there could be two of them, but another Bastardo got closer to the Majors when the Dodgers' Alberto was named the Southern League's Pitcher of the Week after allowing only one unearned run in a pair of wins for Double-A Chattanooga. Alberto and the Phillies' Antonio Bastardo are not from the same family, or even the same country. Alberto is Venezuelan, while Antonio is from the Dominican Republic.

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