- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers spent the past few days watching a flag go up and the opponent get its glitzy rings in the ballpark where they lost the NL Championship Series last season.

Even so, they’re more concerned about the future than the past. And they’ll take more games like this.

Brandon McCarthy pitched four-hit ball over six innings, Andrew Toles hit his first leadoff homer and the Dodgers beat Chicago 2-0 on Wednesday night after the Cubs received their championship rings.

“It’s 2017,” Toles said. “That was last year; it’s over. They can enjoy it, but we’re looking forward to this year.”

The Cubs put the finishing touches on a celebration that started when they beat Cleveland in Game 7 last November to win the World Series for the first time since 1908. They raised the banner Monday night and got 14-karat white gold rings with a total of 214 diamonds in a ceremony Wednesday that drew more roars from the fans at Wrigley Field.

Toles gave the Dodgers a quick lead with his drive off John Lackey to start the game, and it stayed 1-0 until the ninth.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras bounced a wild throw to first after Toles swung at strike three in the dirt with two outs. Chase Utley, who led off with a walk against Hector Rondon, raced home from first on the error to make it 2-0, and Los Angeles closed it out after dropping three of four.

As for the Cubs?

“The celebration is over,” Lackey said. “It’s time to start working on a new one.”

McCarthy (2-0), coming off a strong start to beat San Diego last week, struck out four and walked three. He gave up long flies to Contreras and Anthony Rizzo on a night when the wind was keeping balls in the park, and was helped by three double plays.

“They came in big situations,” McCarthy said. “Keeping the ball on the ground is a positive for me and something I set out to do. Ball stays on the ground, you get a better chance at double plays.”

Ross Stripling retired the side in the seventh and left with a runner on second and two outs in the eighth after striking out Jon Jay on a 3-2 pitch. Luis Avilan then fanned Kyle Schwarber to end the inning.

Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his second save, after giving up Rizzo’s game-winning single Monday night.

Lackey (1-1) held the Dodgers to a run and four hits over six innings. The veteran right-hander struck out 10 and walked three. He threw 106 pitches - 32 in the first inning, when he escaped a bases-loaded jam.

Mike Montgomery worked two scoreless innings for Chicago. The Dodgers loaded the bases against him in the eighth before pinch-hitter Justin Turner, batting for Joc Pederson, grounded into a double play to end the threat.

QUOTABLE

Lackey, presumably in jest, after a reporter referred to his “didn’t come here for a haircut” comment last August: “I got a haircut during the offseason. Actually, my wife was kind of ticked. She likes it long, so I kind of got in trouble for that one. But what are you gonna do? Where is she gonna go?”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: Placed OF Franklin Gutierrez on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain sustained when he was caught stealing against the Cubs on Monday. Los Angeles recalled OF Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Cubs: Rondon exited after tweaking his left knee trying to tag Utley at the plate in the ninth. The reliever said after the game he was better, though still a little sore, and might get an MRI on Thursday.

UP NEXT

The Cubs and Dodgers wrap up their three-game series, with Chicago LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 1.59 ERA) making his first start against his former team and LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-1, 3.86) going for Los Angeles. Anderson spent the past two years with the Dodgers, though he missed most of last season because of a back injury and blister.

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