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Cubs Bite Ely, Dodgers 7-3

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In his second consecutive short outing, Los Angeles Dodger rookie pitcher John Ely (4-7) let Chicago Cubs hitters get the best of him, lasting only two and one-thirds innings while giving up six runs against his home state rival before a national Fox television audience and an announced crowd of 49,016 that included plenty of local Cubbie fans and actor David Duchovny, who threw out the game’s first pitch.

“I think everyone here knows I’m capable of doing the job and getting it done well, but right now it’s just not happening,” said John Ely.

Cubs catcher Geovany Soto’s two-run homer ran the scoreboard to 3-0, shortly after Starlin Castro had singled home Marlon Byrd for the game’s first run. In the third inning, Ely walked in Alfonso Soriano after loading the bases on a Derek Lee single, an Aramis Ramirez single, and via hitting Marlon Byrd.

With the score 4-0, Manager Joe Torre pulled Ely in favor of 25 year-old Travis Schlichting, who got the Dodgers out of the jam but did allow a single to Starlin Castro that scored Soriano, a run that was charged to Ely.

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“It’s nothing physical, I’ve just got to snap out of it,” said Ely of his recent troubles.

Schlichting went on to pitch a scoreless two and two-thirds and only allowed two hits. In fact, the rest of the Dodger relievers -- including Carlos Monasterios and Justin Miller -- combined to pitch a strong six and two-thirds innings. The trio allowed one run, an eighth inning Aramis Ramirez solo home run (#10) off of Monasterios.

Days before his first All-Star Game start, Andre Ethier was the most productive Dodger hitter out of a lineup that started four bench players (either due to injury or Torre resting starters in the day game after a night game.) His fifth inning bloop single evaded three Cubs fielders and plated Xavier Paul and Rafael Furcal to put the Dodgers on the board. A near-rally in the last of the ninth saw another Ethier single home Blake DeWitt.

Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny (4-5) kept Dodger bats quiet across six innings. He allowed six hits and just one earned run while striking out seven.

And Whatnot

* Joe Torre’s pick for the World Cup Final: “Netherlands, because I have them in the pool.”

* Manny Ramirez is expected to join the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers tonight for a rehab assignment. He’s been on the DL since June 30 with a strained right hamstring and is expected to re-join the big club on July 15 in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

* Yesterday, Torre announced that his second half rotation will be: Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla and John Ely.

* The outfield grass looked to be in less than its typical impeccable shape due to On Field Photo Day, that saw hordes of fans meet players and coaches before the game.

Follow Caleb Bacon on Twitter @thecalebbacon.

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