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James Loney provides the offense, Vicente Padilla the pitching as Dodgers close out first half with 7-0 victory over Cubs

July 11, 2010 |  7:44 pm
It’s James Loney, the quiet guy. Vicente Padilla, the suspect opening-day starter.

Together on Sunday, they put aside question marks and presented the Dodgers with a nice little victory to feel good about as they head into the three-day All Star break.

Loney drove in four runs, including three on a first-inning home run, and Padilla threw no-hit ball for five innings as the Dodgers rolled to a 7-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

The victory leaves the Dodgers with a 49-39 record at the break, tied with the Colorado Rockies for second place in the National League West, two games back of the San Diego Padres.

Not exactly where they would prefer to be located, but certainly within comfortable striking distance going into the second half.

Loney’s four runs batted in gives him a team-high 63, fifth best in the NL. The home run was his sixth.

Padilla held the Cubs to two hits over eight innings. He struck out six and walked one.

In his five starts since returning from the disabled list because of a nerve problem in his throwing arm, he is 3-1 with a 2.38 earned-run average. And looking remarkably like an opening-day starter.

For the Cubs, the day ended a first half of frustration. They are 39-50, 9½ games back in the NL Central and looking like a team heading nowhere.

They were made more frustrated by two close calls that went against them at first base, the second of which pitcher Carlos Silva was so upset about that first base umpire Brian Runge ejected him in the second inning.

Given that Silva (9-3) had given up six runs, six hits and three walks, he probably wasn’t long for the game anyway.

-- Steve Dilbeck