The Cubs fared better against Japanese sensation Kazuhisa Ishii this time.
Instead of scoring one run against him, as they did last Sunday at Wrigley Field, they scored two. And they boosted their hit total from three all the way to four.
That might be considered progress. But at this rate, the Cubs won't beat Ishii until about 2005. Forget about Saturday night.
Ishii became baseball's third six-game winner by frustrating the Cubs in a 3-2 victory before 47,381 paying customers at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs fell to 2-6 against left-handed starters as their season-high winning streak ended at two.
Ishii's next goal is to match the start of another foreign-born Dodgers left-hander whose black hair extended below the back of his baseball cap. That would be Fernando Valenzuela, who started 8-0 in 1981.Darren Lewis, playing for the hobbling Corey Patterson, set the right tone to start the game. He refrained from swinging at any of Ishii's six first pitches, drawing a walk on a 3-2 count.
Mark Bellhorn, starting his third consecutive game, grounded into a 6-4-3 double play on Ishii's next pitch. That would prove to cost the Cubs.
With the bases clear and Sammy Sosa at the plate, Ishii tried to paint the outside corner with a 2-2 fastball. But Sosa did not allow it. He whacked the pitch over the center-field wall.
That gave Sosa a major-league leading 13 homers and a relatively modest 19 RBIs. As productive as Sosa has been this season, he has batted just .136 with runners in scoring position and .392 when runners were not on second or third base.
After the Dodgers drew even in the bottom of the inning on Paul Lo Duca's RBI double, the Cubs looked to take a 2-1 lead in the second. With runners at first and second, Robert Machado lined a single to right that sent Alex Gonzalez sprinting toward the plate.
But Shawn Green's perfect throw cut down Gonzalez and kept the game tied.
The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in their second after Adrian Beltre's leadoff double. With two outs and Beltre at third, speedy center fielder Dave Roberts dragged a bunt down the first-base line.
Jason Bere, who fell to 1-4, grabbed the ball and fired it to first, but Fred McGriff could not handle his low but catchable throw, allowing Beltre to score. McGriff's defense was also a problem in the first inning, when he failed to corral a pop foul.
The Dodgers added to their lead in the fourth on Roberts' RBI single.
Sosa's RBI single in the fifth trimmed the lead to 3-2, but the Cubs got no closer.
Pinch-hitter Delino DeShields drew a leadoff walk in the ninth off closer Eric Gagne. DeShields advanced to second on Machado's sacrifice bunt.
Gagne blew away Patterson on an 0-2 fastball and whipped a fastball past pinch-hitter Roosevelt Brown to end the game.
Gagne improved to 10-for-10 in save opportunities and the Cubs fell to 1-9 in one-run games.