Patterson recently lost starting job

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

"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

"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."