Kenley Jansen sent a late-night text to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after his blown save against the Cubs.
“I wanted the ball after what happened last night,” the closer said. “I really wanted to face them again.”
Jansen got his wish, and quickly found himself in trouble again.
But he escaped again, earning his 21st save the hard way, and Los Angeles rallied to beat Chicago 3-2 Sunday night.
Russell Martin singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and Alex Verdugo made a game-saving catch for the final out to help the NL West-leading Dodgers take three of four.
“Got to give them credit, I mean, they worked their way out of a jam there,” Chicago’s Kris Bryant said. “Great play at the end of the game. I thought it was going to get down but it’s a good team over there.”
Martin struck out in his first three at-bats before poking a two-strike single to left off Steve Cishek (1-4).
“It was getting tough to see with the shadows and early in the at-bat I was having a tough time seeing his slider, the rotation and spin on it,” Martin said.
Third-base coach Dino Ebel sent Chris Taylor home from second after he walked to open the inning. Taylor slid headfirst and did a face-plant, his helmet going airborne, as the throw from Bryant sailed past catcher Willson Contreras.
“It was really smooth,” joked Taylor, who had a large red scratch near his right eye afterward. “I’m just glad I was able to touch the plate. It was embarrassing. My right arm sort of got stuck and I rolled onto my face.”
Ebel noticed Bryant was playing shallow in left.
“Kris had to make a perfect throw and he didn’t,” Ebel said. “He threw the ball on the first base side.”
The series featured 13 home runs and 18 of 24 runs scored on homers.
“That’s a great game but I think it re-emphasizes how equal both teams are,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Cody Bellinger hit his 23rd homer in front of his parents on Father’s Day.
Jansen allowed Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer on Saturday that gave the Cubs a 2-1 victory.
Jansen gave up a leadoff single to Albert Almora Jr. and walked Jason Heyward to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber grounded out, moving Almora to third and Heyward to second.
“Just got to be mentally tough,” Jansen said. “I never lose my confidence. Men at first and second, I know I’m going to fight through this. The mind is a very powerful weapon.”
Pinch-hitter Victor Caratini bounced a short grounder to the right side, and Jansen fielded and fired home to get Almora at the plate for the second out.
With Heyward at third, Javier Bàez flied out to center and Verdugo made a running catch to preserve the win, diving onto his stomach shortly after the ball fell into his glove.
“I don’t know if the dive was for the cameras,” Taylor joked, referring to the national TV telecast.
The flashy Verdugo knew he’d get to the ball in time.
“He crushed it, so after my first couple steps I knew it would stay up,” he said.
Ross Stripling (3-2) got the victory with one inning of relief.
The Cubs led 2-1 in the sixth on Contreras’ RBI single and David Bote’s sacrifice fly.
Chicago fell to 3-10 in its last 13 road games.
Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two unearned runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out eight without allowing a walk.
Chicago starter Josè Quintana gave up two runs and six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out three and walked three.
Quintana gave up a two-out single to David Freese in the first. He then walked Bellinger, Chris Taylor and Max Muncy in succession, forcing in Freese and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The South Korean left-hander hasn’t allowed an earned run at home since April 26 against Pittsburgh, a span of 34 2/3 innings. He is 6-0 with an 0.87 ERA at home.
Cubs: They’re off Monday, their first such break since May 30. LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA) starts Tuesday against the White Sox.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (7-3, 3.89) starts Monday in the opener of a four-game set against the Giants.
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