LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Inside-the-park home runs are becoming a popular occurrence for the
Los Angeles Dodgers
led off the first inning with the Dodgers' third inside-the-park home run of the season and
pitched seven scoreless innings as Los Angeles won its sixth straight game, 6-1 over the
With just one leadoff homer in his career, Roberts ripped a 3-2 offering from Cubs starter
down the left field line. The ball hit the stands and ricocheted past left fielder
, allowing Roberts to circle the bases for his second homer of the season.
"The inside-the-park homer felt good," Roberts said. "Two strikes, I was just trying to get the bat on the ball. When I saw it pass (third baseman Aramis) Ramirez, I knew I was going for two. I just kept an eye on (third base coach Glenn) Hoffman, he never told me to stop running. I am just as surprised as you are."
Paul Lo Duca
had the Dodgers' first inside-the-park homer this season on June 8 against the
Chicago White Sox
had one at Atlanta last Sunday. Roberts' shot gave Los Angeles its most inside-the-parkers since 1962, when it had five.
Ventura homered in a more conventional way later in the first, hitting a two-run blast over the right-center field wall to give the Dodgers a 4-0 cushion.
Making just his third start since joining Los Angeles on June 7, Alvarez (2-1) allowed just four singles, including three in the first two innings. The veteran lefthander struck out six without a walk en route to his 90th career win.
"I feel good about myself," Alvarez said. "I feel I did my job, gave the team a chance to win. That is the best I have felt in five years. The big key is I'm throwing the ball strong. I knew tonight I could not get behind in the count or I would be in trouble."
"Fantastic pitching," Los Angeles manager
said. "He hit both sides of the plate. Seven innings, no runs."
Clement (9-10) was not nearly as effective, surrendering five runs and six hits in five innings. Winless against Los Angeles since July 4, 2000, he walked four and struck out four.
"The inside-the-park homer is a first against me," Clement said. "Unfortunately, I was not able to execute. I made a bad pitch to Ventura, a bad pitch up."
After Roberts' homer, Clement fanned Lo Duca on three pitches. But
singled to put runners on the corners for
, who lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Ventura doubled the lead two pitches later with his second homer since being acquired from the
New York Yankees
at the July 31 trade deadline.
"Dave started off nice," Ventura said. "Guys are trying to have good at-bats. Anytime there are runs in the first, it's nice."
The Dodgers plated a run in the third on an RBI groundout by Ventura, and increased their advantage to 6-0 on
's run-scoring single in the sixth.