Lou Piniella has finally seen enough.

After Kevin Gregg gave up four two-out runs in the ninth inning in a 4-1 loss to the Padres on Monday night, Piniella said he plans on removing Gregg from the closer's role.

"I think we're going to make some changes as far as what we're going to do in late innings," Piniella said. "We'll have some more tomorrow."

Piniella didn't say who would be his new closer, though Carlos Marmol and Angel Guzman are considered the likeliest candidates.

Gregg blew his sixth save of the year and third in August, giving up a tying double to Chase Headley, and, after an intentional walk, a three-run homer to Kyle Banks. It was about as tough a loss as the Cubs have suffered.

"I can name a few of them, believe me," Piniella said. "They all end the same way, with a home run ball."

It was the 12th home run Gregg has given up, putting the Cubs six games behind St. Louis.

"It sucked," Gregg said. "I wasn't pitching. I went away from what I wanted to do, didn't executive my pitches and cost us the game."

Told that Piniella was going to make changes, Gregg said: "I could see why he's (ticked). I'd be (ticked). I'm (Ticked) right now. That's a crappy effort I just put forth on the field. I could have regrouped. I still have to get people out."

The Cubs blew scoring opportunities in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings before Derrek Lee led off the eighth with a triple off Adams, the fourth Padres reliever following six scoreless innings from starter Kevin Correia.

Ramirez, returning to the lineup for the first time since aggravating his left shoulder injury on Aug . 8 in Colorado, promptly singled Lee home to give the Cubs the lead.

The margin for error is dwindling for the Cubs, who held a half-game lead when they entered this stretch of 17 of 24 games on the road. They're 6-10 so far. The disastrous 1-6 mark against Colorado and Philadelphia was the only blot during the stretch.

"We can't afford another week like that," Piniella said. "You know, 17 out of 24 games on the road in August is not the easiest thing in the world. Five days in Denver? [That's] too much."

The Cubs were in a groove in July, ranking second in the league in runs scored and fifth in pitching to go 18-9. But injuries to Lilly and Carlos Zambrano helped kill their momentum. They entered Monday's game ranked 12th in NL pitching in August, and 10th in runs scored, coinciding with Alfonso Soriano's latest slump. He did not play Monday.

Lilly was on his game from the outset and didn't let a runner get as far as third base. After the first two men reached in the second, he retired the next three batters in order. With runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, Mike Fontenot dived to his left, threw to second and watched Aaron Miles turn the inning-ending double play.

John Grabow pitched 161/37 innings of hitless relief before Carlos Marmol retired the final two hitters in the eighth. Then Gregg fell apart in the ninth.

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