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L.A. Dodgers020003000540
Chi. Cubs «00020040x6110

Dodgers lose rubber game to Cubs, drop NL West lead to half game

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Aramis Ramirez's three-run homer gave him 100 RBI. More importantly, he said, it gave the struggling Chicago Cubs a victory and a series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team eyeing the playoffs.

"Right now we are playing spoilers. We took two out of three from a first-place team and that's something we play for right now," Ramirez said after his 33rd homer rallied the Cubs to a 6-5 win Thursday, knocking the Dodgers' lead to one-half game in the NL West.

The Dodgers headed home after a series in which they lost twice by blowing leads at Wrigley Field. Los Angeles begins a key four-game series Friday with second-place San Diego, which beat the Reds 4-2 Thursday.

"We've been through this before. We've had some awfully tough losses," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "This was another one today. We just have to put it behind us, come back tomorrow and start a big series with San Diego and see what happens."

J.D. Drew's three-run homer off Carlos Marmol gave the Dodgers a 5-2 lead in the sixth and put Hong-Chih Kuo in position to win his second straight start.

But reliever Brett Tomko (8-7) was roughed up for the second time in the series when he came on in the seventh. Ronny Cedeno's single, a bunt single by Juan Pierre and a two-out RBI single by Ryan Theriot made it 5-3. Ramirez followed with a homer to left.

"It's tough, especially this late in the season. Everything's magnified," said Tomko, who gave up a hit, two walks and two runs in a one-third of an inning Tuesday night when the Dodgers blew a 7-0 lead and lost 9-8 in 11 innings.

Los Angeles didn't have such a big cushion Thursday but still let the game get away. Tomko, who has made 23 relief appearances and 15 starts, took the blame.

"It's a pretty bad feeling to blow a lead late in the game," he said. "It's different than going out as a starter and giving up four or five runs. It's been a rough couple of days for me, a rough series for me."

Ramirez had a rough start this year. He batted .197 in the first month of the season and through April and May had just nine homers and 25 RBI. Now, he's driven in 100 now for the fourth time in six years.

"Like I always say, the numbers end up pretty close to where they're going to be, regardless of how you start," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "You want to start great all the time, but it doesn't happen."

Scott Eyre (1-2) got the win with 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief. Bob Howry pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in nine chances.

Kuo, in his second major league start after beating the Mets with six shutout innings six days ago, gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings with no walks and six strikeouts.

Chicago's Wade Miller, who spent most of the season on the disabled list, allowed just one hit in five innings -- a two-run homer off the right field foul pole by Marlon Anderson in the second. He left with the game tied at 2-2.

Los Angeles immediately reached Marmol for three straight hits, including Drew's 16th homer into the seats in left center.

Kenny Lofton started the rally with a bunt single when Marmol's throw hit him in the back of the head as he reached the first base bag. Nomar Garciaparra followed with a single to right before Drew connected.

The Cubs tied it the fourth on Angel Pagan's two-run triple.

Miller, in his second start of the season after off-season shoulder surgery, walked the first two batters in the fifth but pitched out of it, retiring Rafael Furcal on a bouncer to first for the final out. He left for a pinch-hitter with the game tied at 2, walked three and struck out three.

Notes

  • Miller lasted just three innings in his previous start, giving up five hits and four runs in a loss to the Braves. He has a 62-44 career record with the Astros, Red Sox and Cubs.
  • Lofton's leadoff hit in the sixth came on the 15th anniversary of his major league debut. He broke in with the Astros on Sept. 14, 1991.
  • Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, now a special adviser to the chairman, led the singing during the seventh-inning stretch.
  • Tomko got his 1,000th major league strikeout by fanning pinch-hitter Jacque Jones for the second out of the seventh.
  • Theriot went to a hospital to have a finger on his right hand examined after the game. He hurt it fielding Anderson's grounder in the ninth and had to leave the game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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The Cubs' Aramis Ramirez celebrates his seventh-inning three-run homer as Brett Tomko reacts.  (AP)
The Cubs' Aramis Ramirez celebrates his seventh-inning three-run homer as Brett Tomko reacts. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Los Angeles

J. Drew
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4000022 .296
Kenny Lofton, CF4110000 .302
Nomar Garciaparra, 1B4110000 .308
J.D. Drew, RF2213200 .276
Jeff Kent, 2B4000012 .277
Wilson Betemit, 3B2000111 .270
   a- Olmedo Saenz, PH1000011 .289
    Ramon Martinez, 3B0000000 .284
Marlon Anderson, LF2112200 .281
Russell Martin, C4000003 .288
Hong-Chih Kuo, P1000010 .000
   b- Julio Lugo, PH1000000 .284
    Brett Tomko, P0000000 .120
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
   c- Andre Ethier, PH1000010 .320
Totals30545579 
a-struck out for Betemit in the 8th
b-grounded out for Kuo in the 7th
c-struck out for Broxton in the 9th
Batting
HR - J.D. Drew (16, Marmol), Marlon Anderson (7, W. Miller)
SH - Hong-Chih Kuo (2)
RBI - J.D. Drew 3 (85), Marlon Anderson 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Marlon Anderson 2 (10)
Team LOB - 4
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hong-Chih Kuo 6722060 4.25
Brett Tomko (BS,3; L,8-7) 1444011 5.00
Jonathan Broxton 1000020 2.55
Pitches-Strikes - Hong-Chih Kuo 93-65, Brett Tomko 25-18, Jonathan Broxton 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hong-Chih Kuo 6-5, Brett Tomko 1-1
Batters Faced - Hong-Chih Kuo 24, Brett Tomko 7, Jonathan Broxton 3
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4120010 .289
Ryan Theriot, 2B4121000 .310
    Cesar Izturis, SS0000000 .249
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4223011 .285
Derrek Lee, 1B4010001 .287
Matt Murton, LF4110011 .299
Angel Pagan, RF4012011 .265
Henry Blanco, C4010010 .267
Ronny Cedeno, SS-2B3110013 .246
Wade Miller, P1000010 .000
   a- Freddie Bynum, PH1000010 .258
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .261
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
   b- Jacque Jones, PH1000011 .283
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P00000001.000
    Bob Howry, P00000001.000
Totals346116098 
a-struck out for W. Miller in the 5th
b-struck out for Eyre in the 7th
Batting
3B - Angel Pagan (2, Kuo)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (33, Tomko)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (11), Aramis Ramirez 3 (100), Angel Pagan 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (5), Aramis Ramirez 3 (33)
CS - Juan Pierre (19, 2nd base by Kuo/Martin)
Team LOB - 4
Chicago Cubs
Wade Miller 5122331 6.75
Carlos Marmol 0.1333001 5.68
Scott Eyre (W,1-2) 1.2000120 2.95
Michael Wuertz (H,6) 0.2000100 3.00
Will Ohman (H,9) 0.1000010 4.23
Bob Howry (S,5) 1000010 3.28
Pitches-Strikes - Wade Miller 81-49, Carlos Marmol 11-6, Scott Eyre 26-17, Michael Wuertz 17-9, Will Ohman 5-3, Bob Howry 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Miller 6-6, Scott Eyre 2-1, Bob Howry 1-1
Batters Faced - Wade Miller 19, Carlos Marmol 4, Scott Eyre 6, Michael Wuertz 3, Will Ohman 1, Bob Howry 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31361
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Tony Randazzo