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Giants Dominate Ice-Cold Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have dropped so low even bugs are picking on them.

Charlie Hayes hit a three-run homer, J.T. Snow and Ellis Burks drove in three runs apiece and the Chicago Cubs bobbled their way through another ugly day, losing 12-4 to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.

"A little bit of everything bad happened today," Cubs manager Jim Riggleman said. "We just got beat in every facet of the game."

Last time the Giants visited Wrigley Field, it was late September and the NL wild card was on the line. The Cubs won, sending them to the playoffs for the first time since 1989.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Chicago's been in a free-fall since June, and has won just twice in the last 15 games. Riggleman's future is a daily discussion and players are wondering about their fates as well.

"I'm a Cub until Oct. 3," said second baseman Mickey Morandini, a free agent at the end of the season whose seen his playing time reduced in favor of rookie Chad Meyers. "When that day is over, we'll see what happens."

Unlike last year, when the Cubs got all the breaks, bad things are happening almost every day. Balls took weird hops Tuesday, easy plays were blown and Andrew Lorraine (1-2) got sting by a bee when he picked a ball up off the grass before the second inning.

"I felt something on my hand, I flicked it off and I felt a sting," he said. "It hurt a lot."

Lorraine said it didn't affect his pitching, and the second inning was his best as he retired the Giants 1-2-3. It was the first and fourth innings that got him in trouble. He gave up seven runs six earned and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.

Shawn Estes (8-7) scattered three runs and six hits over seven innings, striking out six. Sammy Sosa broke up his shutout bid in the fourth inning with an RBI double that would have been a homer if the wind weren't blowing in.

Sosa, who is tied with Mark McGwire with 51 homers, finished the day 2-for-3.

"We're just trying to get as many wins as we can," Snow said. "We know we don't have too many games to go and we're starting to play better baseball. We still feel we can get it done if we keep playing the way we have the last five games.

After a 42-minute rain delay, the Cubs went into their ugly mode in a hurry. Marvin Benard led off the game with a single, and then Hayes hit a chopper right at Manny Alexander at second for what looked like a possible double play. But the ball skipped off of Alexander's glove, and Benard got to third on the error.

Barry Bonds drove in a run with a double off the left-field wall, Jeff Kent had an RBI single and Snow's sacrifice fly gave the Giants a 3-0 lead when the first inning finally ended.

"It was nice to look out there and see all the horses out there at the same time," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "Everybody had a big day."

In the five-run fourth, Benard drew Mark Grace in with a shallow grounder. Grace grabbed the ball, but no one had covered first and Scott Servais held at second so Grace didn't have a play. That brought up Hayes, who hit a line-drive homer to left-center for the 6-0 lead.

Bonds followed with a single to knock out Lorraine. Reliever Steve Rain didn't fare any better, giving up RBI singles to Burks and Snow before Rich Aurilia grounded out to end the inning.

San Francisco added three more runs in the fifth with a two-run single from Burks and another RBI single from Snow. Kent hit a solo homer in the seventh.

"Everybody saw what's happened to us," Sosa said. "We haven't had fun in a long time."


  • The Giants have now won four straight on the road for the first time since July 31-Aug. 3, 1998.
  • Burks left the team after the game to fly back to San Francisco to be with his wife, Dori, who is about to have a baby.
  • Cubs first base coach Dan Radison turned 49 Tuesday.

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