"You have to do that from time to time," Billingsley said of picking up the defense. "I was glad to get out of that [third] inning with just one run. I just kept pitching my game and didn't think too much of it."
Billingsley was removed after 5 1/3 innings and 100 pitches, having allowed 10 hits, although some of those hits shouldn't have been, and even when they were, he escaped four jams by stranding five Cubs in scoring position.
"Chad had to work extra hard tonight, and it wasn't his fault," Torre said. "We didn't play particularly well and got away with it. That's the Chad we all have seen in past years. Glad to see he's back into grind mode."
Billingsley also had to cool his jets during the 18-minute delay when the Wrigley Field lights went out. A fire in the neighborhood prompted the Chicago Fire Department and Commonwealth Edison to enact an emergency shutdown of the power grid. It happened just as Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny was delivering a 3-1 pitch to Blake DeWitt leading off the fourth inning. Plate umpire Wally Bell called it ball four, Gorzelanny argued, DeWitt didn't even see the pitch.
"I saw the lights flicker, and that distracted me," said DeWitt. "Thinking back, I wish I had hit a popup. It would have been a good time. Nobody would have seen the ball and I'd have had an inside-the-park homer in the dark."
A backup power source was utilized to fire up the lights and the game continued, with the Dodgers scoring in four innings. Loney was a home run shy of a cycle, while Matt Kemp made the Cubs pay for a second-inning error by third baseman Mike Fontenot with a two-run doubled. Casey Blake provided a ninth-inning insurance run with his seventh homer and fourth in the last eight games. Reed Johnson had an RBI double despite playing with the flu.
Meanwhile, Torre essentially conceded that it looks like Ramirez is playing left field in the dark since he returned May 8 from a strained calf. Ramirez is tentative chasing balls and many are dropping untouched in his territory.
"He's had his leg issues and he's not moving as hard as before," Torre said. "On [Baker's] ball off the wall, he said it was his fault, he thought it was going out of the park and he stopped running after it. I asked if it could have been caught and he said, 'Me.' "
Ramirez had already taken a bad route that allowed Gorzelanny's RBI single to drop in the bottom of the second inning. Baker's triple off Kuo scored two runners inherited from Ronald Belisario. Despite the triple, Kuo struck out the side in the seventh and Torre brought him back to start the eighth.
Geovany Soto led off with a single, Kuo struck out Kosuke Fukudome and on came Broxton for a five-out save, the first two outs on an inning-ending double-play grounder by Ryan Theriot, then a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 11th save of the season. So the Dodgers got three innings out of the Kuo/Broxton tandem.
What they can get from them Thursday remains to be seen. The Dodgers are already shorthanded in the bullpen after the disabling of George Sherrill. Torre said the plan is to call up a reliever on Friday night to back up starter Carlos Monasterios, so he's hoping for rookie John Ely to deliver a quality start in Thursday's day game.