Patterson recently lost starting job

Updated: July 8, 2005, 2:51 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The Chicago Cubs optioned struggling center fielder Corey Patterson to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday night following their eighth straight loss.

Corey Patterson
Center Field
Chicago Cubs
83 11 24 36 .270 .232

"Obviously, things have not been going well in here," general manager Jim Hendry said after the Cubs were swept in a four-game series by the Atlanta Braves. "This is not to point fingers at anyone, especially Corey. But Corey obviously has been in a funk. We're not helping him under these conditions."

Patterson lost his job recently to Jerry Hairston after apparently falling out of favor with manager Dusty Baker.

"Hopefully, he can get himself together," Baker said. "Hopefully, he can find himself, find his stroke."

Patterson refused to speak with reporters after the second game of the doubleheader.

Jason Dubois, who was platooning in left field with Todd Hollandsworth, will join Patterson in Iowa. The Cubs called up outfielders Adam Greenberg and Matt Murton from Double-A Tennessee to replace them.

Playing in front of several local friends and family members, Patterson went 1-for-4 while batting eighth and playing center field in the second game. He didn't play in the opener, a 6-0 loss, as Hairston played center and hit leadoff.

Patterson, an Atlanta native who lives in nearby Marietta, hit 24 homers and stole 32 bases last year. The third overall pick in the 1998 draft, Patterson has a .168 average in 28 games since June 1.

"Maybe this will clear his head," Hendry said. "Hopefully, things will click for him. We still think that the Corey we were going to get is still there."

Dubois, who appeared in 52 games and hit fourth in the doubleheader opener, batted .239 with seven homers and 22 RBI.

Greenberg, a ninth-round pick three years ago, played 10 of his 74 games this year in center field. He hit .278 with four homers and 28 RBI. Murton played in 78 games at Tennessee and hit .342 with eight homers and 46 RBI .

"We're getting them up here to play," Baker said. "Maybe they can give us a spark."

The Braves, who have 10 rookies on their 25-man roster, have won 16 of 21 and are 12 games over .500 as they attempt to win an unprecedented 14th straight division title. Chicago, at 40-44, is 14 games back and in the third place in the NL Central.

"You don't have to look any farther than across the way to see what can happen under these circumstances," Hendry said. "It's something we have struggled with for a fairly long time."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press