MIAMI—The Cubs may have used the All-Star break to get their heads cleared, but they returned to action on Friday wearing the same sluggish look of the past six weeks.
After Florida left-hander Mark Redman dropped the Cubs below .500 for the first time this season with a 6-0 victory, Cubs manager Dusty Baker sounded off about the lack of adjustments made by his offense.
Ugueth Urbina and Braden Looper pitched the final two innings to preserve the Marlins' shutout.
"You can't win if you don't score," Baker said. "Matt [Clement] threw, in my mind, good enough to win. You can't go out there and shut out everybody ever night.
"We have to go out and make some adjustments. He had us swinging at a bunch of balls. You can't hit swinging at balls. I don't know what the [heck] is going on, but I'm not crazy about it, at all."
Eric Karros, who had two of the five Cubs hits, said he understood Baker's anger.
"If you're not a little bit disturbed by the way we played [Friday night], then obviously you don't [care]," Karros said.
The Cubs now trail first-place Houston by 4½ games in the NL Central and have lost 14 of their last 20 games. They're 11-21 since June 12, looking more and more like a team that peaked against the Yankees June 6-8 than one that can make a serious run at the division title.
Baker said he was too upset to talk to his team about it.
"I don't like to talk when I'm upset too much," he said. "My daddy didn't spank us when he was mad. He waited a while."
Clement (7-8) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings, hitting three batters and throwing a wild pitch. Todd Hollandsworth's two-run double with the bases loaded in the fourth gave the Marlins all the runs they needed.
Kyle Farnsworth served up home runs to Ivan Rodriguez and Derrek Lee in a three-run seventh.
The Marlins are 31-17 in their last 48 games, the second-best NL record to Arizona's 32-17.
The Cubs, on the other hand, are in a rut they can't seem to shake. They struck out 11 times and hit into two double plays. They are averaging 7.3 strikeouts per game after leading the league with 7.8 strikeouts per game in 2002.
"We're striking out too much," Baker said. "When you strike out, you don't have a chance. That's the thing that's frustrating. If you put the ball in play, you have a chance for something. If you strike out, you have a chance at nothing."
With the Marlins leading 2-0 in the fourth, the Cubs put runners on first and third with one out on Sammy Sosa's single. But Redman induced Moises Alou to ground into an inning-ending double play, and the Cubs never got another runner past second.
"The guy (Redman) threw a great game," Clement said. "What are you going to do?"
"I can't take anything away from [Redman]," Baker said. "Lately whoever pitches against us looks like Cy Young."