Dodgers knock Cubs out of first placePosted: Saturday August 16, 2003 5:12 PM
Updated: Saturday August 16, 2003 8:01 PM
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs might have lost more than just their brief hold on first place.
Jeromy Burnitz also homered for the Dodgers, who roughed up an ailing Kerry Wood and snapped Chicago's four-game winning streak. One day after moving into first place, the Cubs slipped a half-game behind Houston in the NL Central again.
Wood left in the third inning with back pain.
"He wasn't really 100 percent. He's got a lower back problem, he's had it his last couple of outings," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
Baker said he might skip Wood in his next scheduled start at Houston on Thursday in favor of Shawn Estes. On Friday, Baker decided Estes would skip his next start.
"We'll see how he is," Baker said. "Now we have the option."
Wood did not talk to reporters after the game and will be re-evaluated Sunday.
"[Wood] is not going to tell you unless it is really bad," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "I'm sure today he had some discomfort, obviously it looked like he was laboring more than normal. Hopefully, he will be OK and feel a lot better tomorrow. It's been one of those things that comes and goes with him sometimes."
Aramis Ramirez hit a pair of two-run homers for the Cubs.
Dodgers starter Odalis Perez pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.
After giving up five runs in the first three innings, Perez (9-9) settled down and retired 10 of his last 12 batters. He has won his last three starts.
"I would say it's another special performance," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
Green drove in Roberts, and Burnitz drove in Lo Duca. Beltre followed with a groundout for his fourth RBI and an 8-5 lead.
"We got very productive at-bats in run-producing situations," Tracy said. "When we do that we score runs. It's played itself out that way all year long. We're going to win virtually all those games."
Los Angeles quickly chased Wood, who gave up five runs on five hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings.
It was Wood's shortest outing since Sept. 22, 2000, against St. Louis, when he went just 1 1-3 innings.
Sammy Sosa had an idea that there was something wrong with Wood.
"He was walking so many people, that's not Kerry," Sosa said. "Hopefully, it's nothing serious. We have to wait and see what happens, we don't want to lose him."
Roberts led off the game with a walk. One out later, Green singled. Beltre drove in Roberts with a double to left.
Alex Cora led off the second inning with a walk and scored on Cesar Izturis' double to right-center. Cora was able to score from first after Sosa bobbled the ball in right for an error, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Wood got out of the inning when center fielder Doug Glanville made a leaping catch in the ivy on Lo Duca's drive.
Perez gave up three consecutive hits to start the second inning. Moises Alou singled and Ramirez followed with a two-run shot to left-center.
Eric Karros followed with a double to right-center. Two outs later, Wood hit an RBI single that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Wood walked the leadoff batter (Green) in the third for the third consecutive inning and Beltre followed with a two-run homer to left, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. It was Beltre's 14th home run of the season.
"He's awesome. He's starting to come into his own and he's swinging the bat really well," Lo Duca said.
Wood gave up another walk to Robin Ventura, who moved to third on Cora's single and scored on Izturis' sacrifice fly that ended Wood's day and made the score 5-3.
Perez gave up a single to Sosa in the third and Ramirez followed with his 16th homer of the season and fourth with the Cubs, tying the game at 5.
It was Ramirez's sixth career multihomer game.
Green had an RBI single in the fifth, giving the Dodgers a 9-5 lead.
Burnitz homered off Mark Guthrie in the eighth. It was his 25th of the season and seventh with the Dodgers.
Notes: Baker used Prior as a pinch-hitter in the fourth. Prior struck out. ... Beltre has 18 RBIs in his last 12 starts. ... Wood has just three wins since June 29.