Andre Ethier hit one ball on the screws Tuesday night in a quest to extend his hitting streak.

That ball was snagged by Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney in the eighth inning, and Ethier was thrown out.

Fortunately for Ethier, one of the softer hit balls landed safely in right field in the fourth inning, extending his hitting streak to 29 games.

The good news for the Dodgers ended there.

The Cubs scored three runs in the ninth inning, two of them charged to closer Jonathan Broxton, in a 4-1 victory over the Dodgers in front of 38,017 at Dodger Stadium.

Broxton entered the game in the ninth with the score tied at1 and retired the first batter before walking Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena on eight consecutive balls. Broxton, booed as he entered the game from the bullpen to start the inning, got a lengthy visit from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who finally pulled Broxton from the game to even more boos.

Blake Hawksworth came in and got Alfonso Soriano to fly to center for the second out, but Geovany Soto placed his line drive to right-center field perfectly between Matt Kemp and Ethier, the ball going to the wall and driving in two.

Ex-Dodgers infielder Blake DeWitt followed with a single to center, and Kemp's throw appeared on target to get Soto, trying to score from second.

However, first baseman James Loney inexplicably cut off the throw, allowing Soto to score while Kemp and catcher Rod Barajas appeared miffed at Loney's play.

It was a sour ending to an otherwise pleasant night for the Dodgers, who got Ethier's hit and a solid performance from starting pitcher Chad Billingsley - seven innings, one run, four hits, hits strikeouts.

The Dodgers' primary concern after the game was for Broxton, whose ERA rose to 5.68. One night after retiring the Cubs in order and getting a save, he fell apart Tuesday night.

"When a guy is telling you he's fine, you want to believe that," Mattingly said. "The inconsistency in his velocity concerns me. I don't know if we're getting the whole story. His inconsistency is puzzling."