These struggling clubs open a four-game series Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles (71-50) lost for the fifth time in seven games, falling 3-2 at home to NL Central-leading St. Louis on Wednesday.
The Dodgers, who still have the NL’s best record, had a nine-game lead over Colorado on July 22, but are 10-16 since and 3 1/2 games ahead of the surging Rockies, and 4 1/2 in front of San Francisco.
“We’ve got to go out and put a little bit of a streak together,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. “You’ve got to fight for what you want and fight your way through these things.”
Though the last few weeks have been a struggle for the Dodgers, facing Chicago (61-57) could help them get back on track.
The Cubs avoided being swept at last-place San Diego with a 7-1 victory over the Padres on Wednesday. Chicago, which has won four times in 13 contests, is five games behind Colorado in the wild-card race and six back of St. Louis in the Central.
These teams split a four-game set at Wrigley Field from May 28-31.
Manny Ramirez(notes) - 1 for 14 in his last four contests - missed the previous series at Chicago while serving his 50-game drug suspension, but went 5 for 10 with two home runs in last season’s NL Division Series against the Cubs.
One day after signing recently released Vicente Padilla(notes) to help its inconsistent rotation, Los Angeles hopes Jeff Weaver(notes) (5-4, 3.71 ERA) can remain perfect against Chicago when he starts in place of the injured Hiroki Kuroda(notes).
Weaver, who’s 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA in six starts for the Dodgers, allowed two hits in three scoreless innings of a 4-2, 10-inning loss at San Francisco in his last start Aug. 12.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in five starts against the Cubs.
“A lot of (Chicago’s) power guys are right-handed,” Torre told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “Weaver right now for option-wise seemed like it made the most sense. He’s had some experience against them.”
“When you swing the bats and put runs on the board, and people are running around the bases, you don’t look flat,” manager Lou Piniella said of the Cubs, who are near the bottom of the NL in batting average (.255) and runs (527).
Aramis Ramirez(notes), who was on the disabled list with a separated shoulder when the Cubs last faced the Dodgers, had a homer and three RBIs on Wednesday. He’s 5 for 12 in his last four games since missing six with a sore shoulder and a cold.
In his last outing, Gorzelanny allowed one run and three hits while striking out a season-high eight in five innings to earn his second win for Chicago in a 3-1 victory over the Pirates on Saturday.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles.