LOS ANGELES — Veteran second baseman Chase Utley drove in three runs with a pair of singles and versatile Chris Taylor hit his sixth home run of the season as the Los Angeles Dodgers again snuffed out the Chicago Cubs 5-0 Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Brandon McCarthy (5-1) won his fifth game of the season, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings of work. His win gives the Dodgers three starters with five or more wins already this season, joining Alex Wood (six) and Clayton Kershaw (seven).

Neither Utley nor Taylor was considered a big part of the team the Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to field for 2017, but they have played their way into being essentials.

Utley, who played a key role in the club’s run to the NL Championship Series in 2016, didn’t re-sign with the Dodgers until mid-February and was expected to be a reserve infielder.

Taylor, who had one career home run coming into the season, didn’t make the Opening Day roster and was only recalled when second baseman Logan Forsythe suffered a toe injury that led him to miss 30 games.

Utley broke out of a deep slump earlier this month. The one-time World Series champ in Philadelphia is hitting .340 since May 9 with six extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.

Taylor, meanwhile, went from super sub to just super. He has made 25 starts and the Dodgers are 18-7 in those games. In May, he is hitting .337 with nine extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.

Taylor has started 18 games at second base in place of Forsythe, three at third base with Justin Turner out and has made four consecutive starts in center field for Joc Pederson (concussion protocol) despite never having played the position in the major leagues.

McCarthy extended the run of solid Dodger pitching that has seen the team win eight of its last 10 games while holding the opposition to three runs or less eight times.

John Lackey (4-5) took the loss. The Cubs were shut out for the second straight game, and didn’t get a runner past first until the eighth. Ross Stripling allowed one hit in three innings of relief for McCarthy to get his first career save.

The starting pitchers dominated early as the 4:15 local start for a national TV broadcast left shadows across the infield and home plate and barely negligible wind in the park.

McCarthy didn’t allow his first hit until the fourth, but the runner was erased by a replay review. Rookie second baseman Ian Happ hit a gapper to right-center and was called safe at second. Los Angeles asked for a review and the video showed shortstop Corey Seager making the tag on Happ before his foot hit the base.

Lackey was just as stout for three-plus innings before the Dodgers touched him for a run with a two-out rally in the fourth.

Enrique Hernandez doubled off the wall in right and went to third on a wild pitch. Lackey walked left fielder Cody Bellinger on a 3-2 count and Utley lined a single to left for a 1-0 lead.

The Dodgers stepped fully out of the shadows with a four-run fifth.

Lackey walked his opposite, McCarthy, to start the inning, and Taylor slugged Lackey’s next pitch into the left field seats for his sixth home run and a 3-0 lead.

The Dodgers weren’t done. Catcher Yasmani Grandal singled to center and third baseman Kris Bryant couldn’t come up with Adrian Gonzalez‘s nubber to put two on. After a force-out, Lackey again walked Bellinger to load the bases.

Utley worked the count to 3-2 before lining a single to right field for two runs and a 5-0 lead.

NOTES: Dodgers 2B Logan Forsythe did not start the game. He has been slumping since his return from the disabled list. Utley started at second and Enrique Hernandez at third … The Dodgers hope to get 3B Justin Turner back from the disabled list next week. CF Joc Pederson could also return late next week … Cubs rookie Ian Happ started again at second base. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he will work regular 2B Javier Baez back into the lineup soon …Maddon also said he would platoon slumping LF Kyle Schwarber for the time being until the stocky Schwarber breaks out of his slump. He has seven home runs but is hitting under .200 and was 0-for-3 Saturday … Reliever LHP Mike Montgomery is expected to make a start for the Cubs soon. RHP Eddie Butler filled in the No. 5 slot in the rotation last week with LHP Brett Anderson out with a lower back strain … Aces duel in the series finale Sunday, the Cubs LHP Jon Lester facing the Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw.



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