Lefty Justin Steele is a confident, hot bat as the Cubs beat the Dodgers in the series opener

LOS ANGELES — After limiting the Dodgers to two runs in seven innings on Friday, the Cubs are left-handed Justin Steele agreed that this was as sure as he had ever felt on the mound.

“Anytime you pitch against the Dodgers and you feel good, throw well, that's always a plus,” said Steele. “They have a very good lineup.”

Relying on his fastball and four-seam slider, Steele recorded eight strikeouts. The only runs he gave up were a pair of solo home runs.

“Baja looked phenomenal, really kicked the zone,” the manager David Ross said. “I think he's dominant. A few home runs, sure, but when you fill in a zone like that against a good lineup you're going to give up every once in a while.

Last season was Steele's first as a member of the full-time rotation, and he's made strides in development. This year, he's picked up right where he left off, which really helps a team built on run prevention. All three of Steele's appearances this season have been off to a quality start.

Steele cruised through Friday's first two innings, undeterred by the third baseman Patrick's Wisdoma fielding error in the second, which resulted in the Dodgers first base runners in the game. Steele induced another ground ball out of that inning.

Steele turned in a leadoff homer to Chris Taylor to open the third inning and then walk Austin Barnes. But he recovered as the Dodgers' lineup turned around, gaining Mookie Betts to scroll the double play slider.

Steele did not allow another run until the seventh, when Max Muncy led the inning with a solo shot. But the Cubs already had three hits on the board, and Steele ground the next three batters he faced.

“It just relies on my strength,” Steele said. “I feel like I found my four stitches really well tonight. Even from the bullpen that led into the game, I felt like I was in control of all my shots, throwing what I wanted, when I wanted, regardless of the count.

Go, go, go

The Cubs enter Friday's game with only 10 home runs so far this season, good for No. 1. 27 in MLB. They put up another five in the series opener.

Two homers come from Yan Gomeswho became the 10th catcher in the modern era to hit multiple home runs and steal a base in a game.

“That's a Yan Gomes game, right there,” Steele said.

The Cubs' other three long balls all came in the eighth inning. Ian Hapwho went 4-for-4 with two doubles, led the innings by a solo shot.

“Watching Happ hit that homer, obviously good for him, but I want to do the same,” Seiya Suzuki said through Toy Matsushita's translator.

Suzuki, doing some cleaning behind Happ, followed suit. It was his first game back from the injured list (left tilt strained), and his first hit of the season was a home run.

Two hitters later, Wisdom also launched one over the fence.