CHICAGO – Drew Smyly and Yan Gomes tumbled to the grass under a sunny sky at a picturesque Wrigley Field. Reclining on his side for one brief moment, Smyly grinned.
It was over, but it was a really fun afternoon for the Chicago Cubs.
Smyly lost his bid for a perfect game when he collided with his catcher while trying to field an eighth-inning dribbler that went for an infield single in a 13-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
“That's a tough way to end it,” Smyly said. “You feel like you're really close.”
Nico Hoerner, Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini and Patrick Wisdom homered as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games. Hoerner finished with four hits and four RBIs, and Wisdom and Mancini each drove in three runs.
Leaning heavily on his fastball and curveball, Smyly (2-1) struck out 10 and walked none in 7 2/3 innings. He threw 68 of his season-high 103 pitches for strikes.
“Amazing performance,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “That was fun to watch.”
David Peralta accounted for Los Angeles' only baserunner against Smyly on a 32.9 mph leadoff bouncer in the eighth that trickled between third base and the mound. Smyly and Gomes each went for the grounder, and the catcher tumbled over the pitcher as the left-hander picked up the ball.
“It just came to the point where both of us wanted it. He got to it before I did," Gomes said while wearing a Northwestern University football helmet with a Cubs emblem on one side. "I'm not as quick as I used to be trying to jump out of the way and I just ended up riding him and becoming a cool picture.”
Smyly was checked by Ross and an athletic trainer, but he stayed in the game. He retired Miguel Vargas on a popup to third and struck out James Outman before he was replaced by Jeremiah Estrada.
The 33-year-old Smyly received a thunderous ovation from the crowd of 30,381 as he made his way to the dugout.
“Pitching here at Wrigley Field is so special,” Smyly said. “It's so awesome. Every single game the atmosphere is just off the charts.”
There have been 23 perfect games, including Don Larsen’s in the World Series. Seattle’s Félix Hernández pitched the last in 2012.
Smyly also beat Los Angeles with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his previous start. He said Friday's pregame bullpen session was the worst one that he could remember.
“I told Yan before the game, ‘Sometimes those can be your best games,’” Smyly said.
Estrada finished a one-hitter for Chicago. Nick Madrigal robbed Jason Heyward with a diving grab at second base for the final out.
The Cubs became the second team to score double-digit runs six times in its first 19 games, matching the 1885 Chicago White Stockings.
The Dodgers lost for the fourth time in six games. Julio Urías (3-2) allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings after losing to the Cubs in his previous start.
“I think today was just, across the board, just wasn't very good,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Chicago broke open the game with seven runs in the fifth inning. Wisdom hit a three-run shot for his ninth homer. Mancini singled in Bellinger before Hoerner hit a drive to left for his first homer of the season.
The Cubs recalled Estrada from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-hander Javier Assad to their top farm club. Estrada had no record and a 3.18 ERA in five appearances with the big league team last year.
Dodgers: RHP Michael Grove was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right groin strain. RHP Jake Reed was promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and RHP Ryan Pepiot (left oblique strain) was transferred to the 60-day IL. ... INF Chris Taylor (left side soreness) came in to play second base in the sixth inning. “I think now, as we get through today, I think we can look at him more as an everyday, can-do-anything, available player,” Roberts said before the game.
Cubs: RHP Jameson Taillon is working on keeping his arm in shape while he is sidelined by a left groin strain. He was placed on the 15-day IL on Thursday. “Definitely improvement from when I first did it. Improvement from yesterday,” he said. “It's only been a few days but we're like slowly adding different things as we go to keep it moving and kind of test it out.” ... RHP Codi Heuer (Tommy John) is scheduled for a one-inning simulated game Saturday in Arizona.
Dustin May (1-1, 3.00 ERA) starts for Los Angeles on Saturday and fellow right-hander Hayden Wesneski (1-0, 4.15 ERA) pitches for Chicago.
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