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Lieber is sore — but at himself

Chicago CubsMilwaukee BrewersSammy SosaPaul BakoEric YoungFred McGriffKyle Farnsworth

The condition of his right elbow, Jon Lieber insists, is not the problem.

He swears it's not the reason he is winless in his last seven starts.

"It's being able to make pitches," he said.

Lieber did that until the seventh inning Monday night. Then the Brewers chased him from the game, crushed his replacement and completed a 7-6 comeback victory at Miller Park.

"I put all the blame on myself," Lieber said. "They gave me a good lead and I couldn't put it away. That bothers me."

On a night in which the Cubs tied their season high by hitting four home runs, they still couldn't beat the team with the worst record in the National League. They fell to an unconscionable 1-6 against Milwaukee.

"We hit four," manager Don Baylor said, "but I'd like to hit four with somebody on base."

All four shots were of the solo variety. Fred McGriff hit two, boosting his season total to nine, and Corey Patterson and Sammy Sosa went back-to-back in the fifth.

Sosa's shot gave the Cubs a 5-2 lead before their disastrous seventh inning.

The debacle began when catcher Paul Bako took Lieber over the right-field wall for just his second homer of the season. Pinch-hitter Lenny Harris followed by whacking a belt-high fastball into the right-field seats.

Although Lieber complained of right elbow tendinitis in April, "that hasn't been a problem," Baylor said.

Lieber departed after Eric Young's infield single. Joe Borowski then gave up an RBI single to Jeffrey Hammonds and an RBI double to Richie Sexson.

Borowski, pushed into a setup role because of injuries to Kyle Farnsworth and Tom Gordon, has given up runs in three of his last four appearances.

"He's done an admirable job," Baylor said. "But he's just filling in."

Jeff Fassero gave up the final run on a Tyler Houston RBI triple that Sosa misplayed in right.

The Cubs did not benefit from a significant change in their lineup. Bobby Hill, batting leadoff for the first time in 23 major-league games, went hitless in five at-bats. Patterson, who posted only a .326 on-base percentage in 31 starts at the top of the lineup, was moved to second.

Baylor wanted to take advantage of Hill's ability to reach base. In seven starts batting eighth, Hill hit only .222 but walked six times and was twice hit by pitches, resulting in a .462 on-base percentage.

Baylor said he'd like to keep Hill atop the lineup. But the rookie second baseman has to reach base to hold on to his coveted spot.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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