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Coghlan HR leads Cubs over Dodgers, 8-7



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CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Coghlan felt fortunate just to get an opportunity with the Chicago Cubs this season. He came through with a career game on Saturday.

Coghlan hit two homers, including the go-ahead two-run drive off Brian Wilson in the eighth inning, and the Cubs rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7.

Coghlan tied career highs with four hits and three RBIs. He had a leadoff homer in the first and fell a triple shy of the cycle. He also scored three times, helping the Cubs wipe out a five-run deficit.

Not bad, considering he signed a minor league deal with the Cubs in the offseason after being let go by Miami. He got called up from Triple-A in early May and is hitting .283.

"I just feel blessed at the opportunity I have," said Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year with the Marlins. "They don't come around. I had to sign a minor league deal and go to Triple-A and grind that out, get back up here. When they finally do open the door, when there's an opportunity, you really got to kick it down and go through."

The Dodgers were looking to build on a 3 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West after clinching a playoff spot for the fifth time in nine years on Friday.

Instead, Los Angeles blew a five-run lead and wasted a pair of homers and five RBIs by Adrian Gonzalez.

The Dodgers were up 7-2 in the seventh but the bullpen couldn't hold it.

J.P. Howell gave up an RBI single to Anthony Rizzo and a three-run homer to Arismendy Alcantara, making it a one-run game.

Wilson (2-4) came on in the eighth and things just got worse from there.

He gave up a leadoff single to light-hitting John Baker. Coghlan, who had four hits, put Chicago ahead 8-7 with a drive to right after Matt Szczur bunted into a force.

"I have to accept the loss," Wilson said. "I'm fine with that. We're not going home. We still clinched a playoff berth."

Coghlan's homer made a winner of Jason Grimm (5-2), who pitched a scoreless eighth. Hector Rondon worked the ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances.

Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the first. He added a three-run shot in the third, and the Dodgers scored four in that inning while chasing Felix Doubront.

Yasiel Puig had a bunt single, a double and scored two runs for Los Angeles. He also made a diving catch in center field and fired to second for a double play to end the fifth.

Dee Gordon had two singles for his eighth straight multi-hit game and scored a run. But the late rally spoiled what was looking like an easy win.

Los Angeles starter Roberto Hernandez lasted four-plus innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

Doubront gave up six runs and six hits in 2 1-3 innings for Chicago.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder inflammation) played catch before the game and will likely throw again Sunday, manager Don Mattingly said. He was removed from his start Sept. 12 at San Francisco after just one inning, and had a cortisone shot on Monday. ... The Dodgers held 3B Juan Uribe out of the lineup because of nagging groin problem. He is expected to play Sunday.

Cubs: C Welington Castillo was out of the lineup after getting hit by a foul ball and leaving Friday's game with a bruised left rib. X-rays showed no structural damage.

UP NEXT

The Dodgers decided to push RHP Dan Haren's start back a day and have him go Monday against San Francisco. Instead, reliever Jamey Wright (5-4, 4.30 ERA) will make his first start of the season, with RHP Jacob Turner (5-10, 6.20) pitching for Chicago.

HE SAID IT

Manager Don Mattingly when asked if he would have Clayton Kershaw pitch out of the bullpen rather than throw on the side Sunday if the Dodgers push Haren back a day: "You guys trying to get rid of me?"

ONE MORE START FOR JACKSON?

Chicago's Edwin Jackson still is penciled in to start at Milwaukee next weekend after getting hit hard Friday, although manager Rick Renteria said that remains up in the air. RHP Eric Jokisch is a candidate to start in his place.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Andrew Seligman

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