CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs might have lost more than just
their brief hold on first place.
Jeromy Burnitz also homered for the Dodgers, who roughed up an
ailing Kerry Wood and snapped Chicago's four-game winning streak.
One day after moving into first place, the Cubs slipped a half-game
behind Houston in the NL Central again.
Wood left in the third inning with back pain.
"He wasn't really 100 percent. He's got a lower back problem,
he's had it his last couple of outings," Cubs manager Dusty Baker
Baker said he might skip Wood in his next scheduled start at
Houston on Thursday in favor of Shawn Estes. On Friday, Baker
decided Estes would skip his next start.
"We'll see how he is," Baker said. "Now we have the option."
Wood did not talk to reporters after the game and will be
"(Wood) is not going to tell you unless it is really bad,"
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "I'm sure today he had some
discomfort, obviously it looked like he was laboring more than
normal. Hopefully, he will be OK and feel a lot better tomorrow.
It's been one of those things that comes and goes with him
Aramis Ramirez hit a pair of two-run homers for the Cubs.
Dodgers starter Odalis Perez pitched 6 1-3 innings, allowing
five runs on eight hits.
After giving up five runs in the first three innings, Perez
(9-9) settled down and retired 10 of his last 12 batters. He has
won his last three starts.
"I would say it's another special performance," Dodgers
manager Jim Tracy said.
Green drove in Roberts, and Burnitz drove in Lo Duca. Beltre
followed with a groundout for his fourth RBI and an 8-5 lead.
"We got very productive at-bats in run-producing situations,"
Tracy said. "When we do that we score runs. It's played itself out
that way all year long. We're going to win virtually all those
Los Angeles quickly chased Wood, who gave up five runs on five
hits and four walks in just 2 2-3 innings.
It was Wood's shortest outing since Sept. 22, 2000, against St.
Louis, when he went just 1 1-3 innings.
Sammy Sosa had an idea that there was something wrong with Wood.
"He was walking so many people, that's not Kerry," Sosa said.
"Hopefully, it's nothing serious. We have to wait and see what
happens, we don't want to lose him."
Roberts led off the game with a walk. One out later, Green
singled. Beltre drove in Roberts with a double to left.
Alex Cora led off the second inning with a walk and scored on
Cesar Izturis' double to right-center. Cora was able to score from
first after Sosa bobbled the ball in right for an error, giving the
Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Wood got out of the inning when center fielder Doug Glanville
made a leaping catch in the ivy on Lo Duca's drive.
Perez gave up three consecutive hits to start the second inning.
Moises Alou singled and Ramirez followed with a two-run shot to
Eric Karros followed with a double to right-center. Two outs
later, Wood hit an RBI single that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Wood walked the leadoff batter (Green) in the third for the
third consecutive inning and Beltre followed with a two-run homer
to left, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. It was Beltre's 14th home
run of the season.
"He's awesome. He's starting to come into his own and he's
swinging the bat really well," Lo Duca said.
Wood gave up another walk to Robin Ventura, who moved to third
on Cora's single and scored on Izturis' sacrifice fly that ended
Wood's day and made the score 5-3.
Perez gave up a single to Sosa in the third and Ramirez followed
with his 16th homer of the season and fourth with the Cubs, tying
the game at 5.
It was Ramirez's sixth career multihomer game.
Green had an RBI single in the fifth, giving the Dodgers a 9-5
Burnitz homered off Mark Guthrie in the eighth. It was his 25th
of the season and seventh with the Dodgers.
Baker used Prior as a pinch-hitter in the fourth. Prior
struck out. ... Beltre has 18 RBI in his last 12 starts. ... Wood
has just three wins since June 29.