LOS ANGELES – Once Clayton Kershaw exited, the Cubs put a positive ending on a 2-6 road trip.
Anthony Rizzo’s three-run double and Addison Russell’s two-run homer highlighted a seven-run seventh inning as the Cubs broke loose late and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11-5, on Thursday.
The Cubs pounded out 15 hits, including a season-best four by Rizzo. Russell drove in a season-high four runs in the final regular-season meeting between the teams that have played each other in the National League Championship Series the past two years.
“Over the course of this road trip everyone has been fine-tuning their approaches,” Russell said. “Today you see a clear example of it being executed. It’s nice to see the ball fly.”
The teams met seven times in 10 days, with the Cubs winning four games over the two series.
“We’re doing this without everybody right now, too, and that’s the even better part,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We have part of our bullpen but not everybody. I give these guys a lot of credit. During this little stretch they’ve been above and beyond.”
The Dodgers staked Kershaw to a 3-1 lead before he departed after five innings because of a pitch limit.
“He’s that good where he can rehab in the big leagues,” Rizzo said. “It’s amazing.”
The Cubs jumped on reliever Walker Buehler (4-2), who arrived earlier in the morning from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he had been sent for a rehab assignment. Albert Almora Jr. homered on Buehler’s second pitch, and Russell’s sacrifice fly tied it at 3 in the sixth.
“Some bad pitches to good hitters,” Buehler lamented.
The Cubs didn’t let up in the seventh when they batted around.
Jason Heyward’s RBI double gave them the lead for good, 4-3.
Almora followed with a pop-up to first base. Max Muncy used his glove as a shield against the sun in a cloudless sky, but the ball dropped for a single and scored Kyle Schwarber, who reached on a walk.
Rizzo stroked a double to right-center field off Erik Goeddel, extending the lead to 8-3. Russell followed with a two-run shot on an 0-2 pitch that made it 10-3. The Cubs’ seven runs were the most by a Dodgers’ opponent in an inning this season.
“I just want to stay consistent,” said Rizzo, who has 53 RBIs this season. “That’s what I’ve shown over the last few years, and that’s what I want to get back to.”
Steve Cishek (2-0) got the win with 12/3 innings of relief.
Muncy hit his team-leading 17th homer in the third, and Justin Turner added a two-run shot in the ninth, giving the Dodgers a major league-leading 53 homers in June and tying the franchise record set last year. Enrique Hernandez drove in a pair of two-out runs with a single in the second and a double in the fourth.
Kershaw tossed five innings of one-run ball in his second start since coming off the disabled list with a lower back strain. He allowed four hits, struck out six and didn’t walk anyone while restricted to 68 pitches.
“Today was a good step, and hopefully next time the restrictions should be off,” Kershaw said. “I kept the pitch count down and didn’t walk anybody. There’s definitely some things to be positive about.”
Cubs starter Jose Quintana gave up three runs and seven hits in 51/3 innings, the fourth time in five starts this month he hasn’t completed six innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked three.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session that didn’t go well when he experienced pain. He will return to Chicago to be re-evaluated and RHP Tyler Chatwood will start in his place on Saturday. Chatwood was activated from the paternity list. ... INF Kris Bryant (shoulder) has yet to be cleared for baseball activities, although it’s hoped he will come off the DL next week. ... RHP Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder inflammation) will pitch for Triple-A Iowa on Friday and if it goes well, he could rejoin the rotation.
Dodgers: RHP Josh Fields (right shoulder inflammation) went on the DL.
Buehler had the quickest turnaround of any of his teammates who faced a day game after a night game. The rookie right-hander arrived in Oklahoma City for a rehab assignment on Wednesday only to board a 6:15 a.m. flight Thursday to LA. He came off the DL where he had been nursing a rib microfracture. The Dodgers needed him with four others unavailable in the bullpen. Buehler, who has been starting this season, refused to use the travel as an excuse. “These guys are good. You can’t make pitches like that,” he said. “I didn’t execute.” Manager Dave Roberts said Buehler would toss a bullpen session and then return to the rotation.
Cubs: LHP Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.39 ERA) starts Friday against Minnesota in the opener of an eight-game homestand. It will be his seventh start to go with 18 relief appearances.
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 5.30) starts Friday against Colorado. He is 0-3 with a 7.52 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies.
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