The lost weekend

Chicago CubsWrigley FieldJason BereSammy SosaCesar Izturis

The North Side Hitless Wonders continued their offensive ineptness Sunday, dropping a doubleheader to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 and 4-1 at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs finished the homestand with a 3-6 mark after being swept in the three-game series. They are seven games under .500 for the first time this season. The Dodgers outscored them 19-5 in the series.

"Our starting pitching did a great job," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

It was 43 degrees at the start of Sunday's second game with a 20 m.p.h. wind.

"It's been long sleeves pretty much every day," Cubs manager Don Baylor said.

Yet the warm-blooded men from Southern California had little trouble adapting to the chill, rapping out 22 hits in the two contests, including a three-run homer by Brian Jordan off struggling Cubs reliever Jeff Fassero in the ninth inning of the first game that wound up being the difference.

As they head west Tuesday for a six-game trip to San Diego and Los Angeles, the Cubs' performance—baserunning gaffes, poor execution and lack of clutch hitting—continues heading south.

The Cubs, who had one hit off Odalis Perez in Friday's opener, had just five runs and 10 hits in the series.

Baylor was asked if he might consider tinkering with the lineup to create some spark.

"I've tinkered with it twice [Sunday]," Baylor said. "How much more tinkering do you want me to do? Guys know they're struggling. Yeah, I can change the lineup around. If that makes a difference, I will."

In Sunday's first game Kazuhisa Ishii became the first Dodgers rookie to win his first five decisions since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981. Ishii, who gave up a first-inning home run to Corey Patterson, is off to the best start for a Dodgers starter since 1985, when Orel Hershiser also went 5-0.

Ishii retired 11 Cubs in a row before Mark Bellhorn led off the seventh with a double. Robert Machado attempted to bunt, but Bellhorn left the bag too early and was caught in a rundown to end the Cubs' threat.

"You've got to bunt the ball first; it's not run and bunt," Baylor said of the mistake.

Andy Ashby (2-2) held the Cubs to one bloop single by Patterson in eight innings of the second game before reliever Paul Quantrill gave up two ninth-inning hits, including an RBI single by Sammy Sosa.

The Dodgers have won 10 of 13 while the Cubs fell to 4-10 at Wrigley Field this season.

Juan Cruz (0-5) pitched respectably in the first game for the Cubs, allowing two runs in six innings while striking out five and walking four. The Cubs have scored only three runs while Cruz has been in games this season.

But Ishii was more masterful, striking out eight and walking three while allowing three hits and one run.

Jason Bere (1-3) took the loss in Game 2, rebounding from two prior disastrous outings by keeping the Cubs in the game over 7 2/3 innings.

Jordan and Dave Hansen hit back-to-back doubles in the fifth for a 1-0 lead and Alex Cora added an RBI single to make it 2-0. Cesar Izturis and Paul Lo Duca each hit RBI doubles in the eighth for a 4-0 lead.

"I felt good," Bere said. "My last inning I made a couple of stupid pitches."

Said Baylor: "We just couldn't score."

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