Braves 16, Cubs 5

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hero: Aramis Ramirez, continuing his tear when the games no longer matter, went 3-for-4 and hit a two-run homer in the third that gave the Cubs a short-lived 3-2 lead. After hitting just .207 prior to the All-Star break, Ramirez is hitting .317 in the second half with nine homers and 31 RBI.

Goat: Randy Wells (5-12) is looking less and less like a part of the Cubs' future. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed seven runs - five earned - on seven hits (including three home runs) in six innings. Wells struck out five and walked four.

Key Play: Omar Infante's two-out, three-run homer off Wells in the fourth inning gave Atlanta a 5-3 lead.

Comments: The Cubs (51-74) have lost 22 of 31 games since Lou Piniella announced his retirement on July 20.

Remember when backup catcher Koyie Hill called the Cubs out for their poor defensive execution following a putrid loss at Milwaukee in June?

Hill called the Cubs one of the "worst fundamental teams"

"Dropping fly balls, covering the wrong base, throwing to wrong base," Hill said. "Not just today, just in general."

Almost three months later, nothing has changed.

In the top of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded, Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run single and got caught in a rundown between first and second. Second baseman Darwin Barney, first baseman Xavier Nady, and shortstop Starlin Castro botched the rundown and did not tag out Gonzalez until Melky Cabrera scampered home from third with the fourth run of the inning.

Next: Mike Quade debuts as the Cubs manager Monday (CSN, 6:05 p.m.) in Washington (53-71) with Casey Coleman (0-1, 7.82 ERA) on the mound, making his second career major league start. Livan Hernandez (8-8, 3.06) will get the starting assignment for the Nationals. The 35-year-old Cuban right-hander has 164 victories in 15 major league seasons.

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