Strange tar behavior with Net::Telnet

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I'm having a strange problem I can't figure out.  I have a tar file
(sent through gzip) that contains the file
/etc/sysconfig/static-routes, amoung many others.  If I telnet to my
Linux box and su to root and untar this file, all the files extract
properly.  However, if I telnet to the box via a perl script and have
the script su to root and run the exact same command, the other 30
files extract fine but /etc/sysconfig/static-routes always comes out as
a 0 byte file.  I can then manually telnet to the box and extract the
tar file and everything is fine.  Any ideas on why my perl script that
is performing the exact same commands fails to properly extract ONLY
this particular file?

*My script exits if it can't su to root so it's not extracting at a
lower level.
*I created the file with tar -czf.
*I'm extracting the file with tar -xzf.
*I've tried using the -i -p nad -U flags just for grins and no help.

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