Rafael Furcal hit a game-tying RBI single and former Cubs catalyst Juan Pierre hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly for the Dodgers in the eighth as the Chicago bullpen dropped to 4-12. The Cubs are 2-11 in one-run games.
"Everything was OK for seven innings," Piniella said. "Then it got a little bit out of hand in the eighth. What are you going to do? We scored off their bullpen, and they scored off ours."
Derrek Lee hit a pair of RBI doubles, and Alfonso Soriano had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs, who came up short again. They've blown big leads against the Phillies and against the New York Mets in the last couple of weeks, and it's been tough.
"It's a tough game," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said. "We did a job to come back and score some runs in that one inning. A lot of great things happened in that inning. It's a tough loss altogether."
Dodgers starter Derek Lowe stymied the Cubs over six innings, giving up his only run in the sixth when Lee hit a one-out RBI double, driving in Soriano, who had singled and stole second.
The Cubs took advantage of the Dodgers bullpen, sending 12 batters to the plate in the seventh. Jacque Jones singled against Joe Beimel, who was pulled one out later. Pinch-hitter Matt Murton drew a walk off Yhency Brazoban, who gave up a two-run double to Soriano. Mark DeRosa then hit an RBI single to pull within 5-4. Brazoban exited, and Lee greeted Jonathan Broxton with an RBI double to tie the game.
Lee was caught stealing in a baserunning misstep, but the Cubs didn't miss a beat. Aramis Ramirez and Cliff Floyd each singled, and Barrett then hit a RBI single to go ahead, 6-5. Jones added an RBI double in his second at-bat in the inning. Rudy Seanez was called on -- the fourth Dodgers reliever in the inning -- and Barrett scored when Cesar Izturis was safe on a throwing error by third baseman Tony Abreu.
The Cubs' seven runs matched their season high for one inning, also accomplished in the fifth on April 28 against St. Louis, and it was the most hits in one inning for the year.
The Dodgers didn't blink. They loaded the bases on consecutive singles off Bob Howry in the eighth, and Will Ohman came in to face pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz, who laced an RBI single up the middle.
"He gets paid to hit. He got me," Ohman said. "Unfortunately, I get paid to get outs, and I didn't.
"Obviously, it stinks. You put together a great inning, go ahead, get some momentum and don't get the outs."
Ohman was replaced by Angel Guzman, and his first pitch to pinch-hitter Andy LaRoche skipped by Barrett for a wild pitch, allowing another run to score. LaRoche walked to load the bases again. Furcal then singled to tie the game at 8, and Pierre lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
"[Dodgers coach] Rich Donnelly at third base kept holding the runners," Barrett said. "I kept hoping he'd send them and hopefully we'd have a chance at home plate to get an out. With the bases juiced, it kept putting pressure on us."
Chicago starter Ted Lilly, pitching on seven days of rest, did not get a decision in his shortest outing of the season, and only his second non-quality start out of 10. He gave up five runs on six hits and a season-high four walks over 4 1/3 innings while striking out two. Lilly entered the game leading the National League in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Russell Martin hit a two-out RBI single in the Dodgers' first, and Jeff Kent hit a two-out, two-run homer in the third. In the Dodgers' fifth, Pierre blooped a single to left with one out, former Cubs infielder Nomar Garciaparra walked and both scored on Kent's double to make it 5-0 and chase Lilly.
"I thought he just made a couple mistakes, just a couple walks hurt him more than anything," Barrett said of Lilly. "I know he didn't pitch the way he wanted to and didn't execute the way he liked. I think the walks hurt him more than anything else."
Piniella has had to deal with far too many losses by the 'pen than he'd like. Considering that the offense has been scuffling, he'll look at the positives. The seventh inning was big for the Cubs.
"We battled," Piniella said. "We gave it back to them but we battled. I'm happy that we battled. It's good to see us swing the bats the way we did. The bullpen didn't get the job done today, but we'll go out and get them tomorrow."
"Any time you lose a game, it stinks," Floyd said. "We battled back, and the positive way to take it is that's what we did. It's tough. We've just got to figure out a way to win some games."
It's been a tough first season for Piniella.
"He doesn't want anybody to feel sorry for him," Floyd said. "For the most part, we're in this together. I won't say it's a long season, because it's 50 games in. Things have to turn. Things have to turn around for us and hopefully it will soon."