LOS ANGELES -- Beating Alex Wood at Dodger Stadium has become a long-shot proposition. The Chicago Cubs found out firsthand.
In the second series of the season between teams that battled in last season's National League Championship Series, Wood (6-0) dominated with a two-hitter in five shutout innings and extended his string of scoreless innings to 25 1/3.
Wood, who has won his last five games, struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter. He threw 91 pitches, 59 strikes.
"I definitely feel confident right now, for sure," said Wood, who is 10-2 in 20 career games (15 starts) at home.
Wood dropped his ERA at Dodger Stadium to 1.62, which is the third lowest at the ballpark (minimum 100 innings), trailing only Sandy Koufax's and Bob Lee's 1.37 ERA.
"But at the same time, like I say every week, the consistency of my stuff has been there, and that's kind of where my confidence is coming from. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and give us a chance to win every time out and keep going from there."
Manager Dave Roberts said Wood has performed better than any Dodgers pitcher except Kershaw.
"You talk about confidence in a player. He's as confident as any player I've been around," Roberts said. "He prepares, he works hard and he's very confident.
Relievers Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher each worked two hitless innings for the Dodgers (29-20), who improved to 19-8 at home.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (5-4) gave up four runs and five hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in six innings.
The Cubs fell to 25-22.
Gonzalez hit a two-run blast to center, his first long ball of the season, in the sixth off Arrieta to cap the scoring.
"Top to bottom, in terms of team effort, what a beautiful game," Wood said. "That's a great team across there and Arrieta is a great pitcher. We had some great hitting, scored some runs ... (Baez) and (Hatcher) just shutting it down the last four innings was pretty great."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Arrieta pitched well with the exception of a few mistakes.
"I thought he was sharper today overall," Maddon said. "I thought his command was good and I thought his curveball was outstanding. With Gonzalez, it was a bad count (3-1) that got him. He had pitched so well before that with the two punchouts. My analysis would be that (with) the homers he's getting in some bad counts and he's making some mistakes and they're not missing them."
Arrieta echoed much of the same theme.
"For the most part, it was really good. Just a couple of mistakes again came back to get me," said Arieta, who's ERA rose to 4.92.'
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager went 2-for-3 with a walk and pair of runs.
Utley homered for the second night in a row, smacking a 1-1 pitch from Arrieta into the seats in right-center to lead off the third for a 1-0 Los Angeles edge. That ended Arrieta's scoreless-innings streak during the regular season against the Dodgers over the past three games at 18.
"He's a great pitcher, so he's going to have success," Gonzalez said. "Today, we were able to be aggressive and take advantage of the few mistakes he made. It worked out. The runs came on extra base hits, a home run, a double and a home run."
In the fourth, Yasmani Grandal doubled home Seager, who reached on a walk, for a 2-0 advantage.
NOTES: Joe Maddon was surprised to learn that the 1975 and '76 Cincinnati Reds teams were the last National League clubs to repeat as World Series champs. Maddon said parity and the grueling major league campaign are among the reasons it hasn't happened again. "I think a lot of that has to do with the length of the season and the playoffs are such a grind, and injuries are such a part of our game," Maddon said. "It's just a different animal." ... INF Mike Freeman and RHP Chris Heston were claimed off waivers by Los Angeles from the Seattle Mainers. Both were optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Cubs RHP John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA) will oppose Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76) in the second game of the series on Saturday