Cubs Continue to Struggle on the Road

The Cubs are in a whole heap of trouble on the road. Their 5-3 loss at Detroit on Wednesday night was their third in three games on the current 10-game trip.

The Cubs have a home record of 21-13, but they're just 13-21 on the road. In the loss to the Tigers, the Cubs had 11 hits and seven walks, but they were a woeful 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and they left 13 runners on base.

That was similar to Tuesday night's 5-4 defeat. In that game, the Cubs left only six on base, but they were 0-for-8 with men in scoring position.

Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot continue to hit, but the Cubs need some production from center fielder Kosuke Fukudome and right fielder Milton Bradley. Fukudome's batting average fell to .259, and he struck out with two runners on to end the game. Bradley was 0-for-2 with three walks, but he struck out twice and left four on base.

Bradley has only 16 RBIs for the season.

"I might leave the couple guys that are doing their jobs in their places and draw out the rest of them," manager Lou Piniella said of picking a lineup at random. "We couldn't be any worse."

TIGERS 5, CUBS 3: An error on a dropped popup by C Geovany Soto opened the door for two Detroit runs in the sixth inning as the Tigers took a 4-2 lead. Soto homered for the Cubs. RHP Rich Harden lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and four runs (two earned). The Cubs fell back to .500 at 34-34.


--RHP Carlos Marmol saw his control woes continue Wednesday. He walked two in the eighth inning, including one to force in a run with the bases loaded. For the season, Marmol has walked 35 and hit six batters in 34 innings.

--SS Ryan Theriot returned to the No. 2 spot in the order Wednesday after leading off Tuesday, when LF Alfonso Soriano got a night off. Theriot extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 2-for-4 with a run and a walk. Theriot is 14-for-42 (.333) during the streak.

--OF Brett Jackson agreed to terms, pending a physical, with the Cubs. Jackson was their first-round pick (No. 31 overall) pick in this year's amateur draft, and he finished his junior season at Cal Berkeley.


--OF Reed Johnson, who hadn't played since Saturday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of back spasms. The Cubs activated INF/OF Ryan Freel (left hamstring strain) off the DL. Freel went 10-for-24 (.417) during a rehab stint with Class AAA Iowa, hitting safely in all seven games.

--1B Derrek Lee served as DH and extended his hitting streak to 21 games Wednesday. He singled in the seventh inning to keep the streak alive, and he also walked three times. Before Lee, the most recent Cub to hit in more than 20 straight was OF Jerome Walton, with a modern-day team record of 30 straight in 1989.

--3B Aramis Ramirez had what the Cubs described as a good workout Wednesday at Comerica Park. He's likely to take full batting practice Friday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. If that goes well, Ramirez could head out on a minor league rehab stint and possibly be ready to be activated late next week. He has been out since early May, when he dislocated his left shoulder.

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