|Cubs manager Lou Piniella didn't like Mark Wegner's call in the eighth -- and let him know about it. (NAM Y. HUH/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Another kick in the pants
Cubs' Piniella gets boot during loss to Braves
The Chicago Cubs threw no punches. Manager Lou Piniella might have kicked an umpire, though.
And it was more of the same for the Cubs. This time, they fell, 5-3, to the visiting Atlanta Braves yesterday and lost their sixth straight.
One day after Carlos Zambrano and Michael Barrett fought, Piniella got ejected after Angel Pagan got caught trying to steal third base in the eighth inning. The manager kicked dirt and tossed his cap several times.
Question is: Did he kick third base umpire Mark Wegner, too?
Crew chief Bruce Froemming said yes. Piniella said no.
"He made physical contact with the third base umpire," Froemming told a pool reporter. "He made physical contact with his foot, and he kicked dirt on [Wegner] several times, and the rest was show-and-tell."
Piniella countered: "Froemming is the one that put his hands on me."
Froemming said he was simply trying to calm Piniella, who "just wouldn't stop." And Froemming planned to call Major League Baseball headquarters "immediately."
Yunel Escobar, who got his first major league hit earlier in the game, doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning off reliever Will Ohman (0-3) and Andruw Jones led off the Atlanta ninth with a homer.
With the Cubs trailing, 4-3, Pagan led off the eighth with a double down the right-field line off Tyler Yates (2-0) and tried to steal on the second pitch to Jacque Jones, when the ball bounced a few feet away from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Third base coach Mike Quade argued. Piniella stormed out of the dugout and kicked dirt as he argued and tossed his cap, leading to an ejection by Wegner. Piniella continued to argue as fans littered the field with debris and chanted, "Lou! Lou! Lou!"
The umpires cleared the Braves from the field and bullpen while the grounds crew picked up the garbage. Play resumed seven minutes later.
Phillies 5, Giants 2 -- Cole Hamels became the National League's first eight-game winner, allowing just two runs on five hits in tossing his second complete game of the season for Philadelphia, which had lost four straight at home.
Hamels (8-2) struck out five and didn't allow a walk, using mostly his fastball and trademark changeup. With one out and a runner on in the ninth, Hamels threw his changeup five straight times to Barry Bonds, finally striking out the Giants slugger swinging.
Tigers 9, Indians 5 -- Visiting Detroit beat Cleveland for the first time in six tries this season as Ivan Rodriguez (three RBIs) and Magglio Ordonez (two RBIs) each had four hits.
Mets 7, Diamondbacks 1 -- Carlos Delgado sparked a New York rally with his 415th career home run -- and his fifth in the last seven games -- as the host Mets ended Arizona's eight-game winning streak.
Marlins 5, Brewers 2 -- Miguel Cabrera and Josh Willingham hit two-run homers to lift Florida in Milwaukee.
Pirates 3, Dodgers 1 -- Ian Snell (5-4) limited Los Angeles to one run over eight innings and Xavier Nady homered for host Pittsburgh.
Padres 11, Nationals 3 -- At Washington, Justin Germano (4-0) won his fourth consecutive start and Rob Bowen drove in a career-high four runs for San Diego.
Astros 8, Cardinals 3 -- Carlos Lee hit a homer and had three RBIs and rookie Hunter Pence drove in two runs to lead host Houston.
Rockies 4, Reds 1 -- At Denver, Jeff Francis (5-4) allowed five hits over seven innings and Todd Helton hit a two-run homer as Colorado ended a three-game skid.
Blue Jays 9, White Sox 3 -- Aaron Hill hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh and Alex Rios added a three-run homer in the eighth for Toronto at home.
Athletics 1, Twins 0 -- Joe Blanton (5-3) tossed a three-hitter, retiring 19 of his last 20 batters, to carry host Oakland.
Angels 7, Orioles 4 -- Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer in support of spot starter Joe Saunders (3-0), who worked six strong innings for host Los Angeles.
Mariners 5, Rangers 4 -- Jose Guillen had a solo homer during a decisive three-run sixth for host Seattle.
Royals 9, Devil Rays 4 -- Emil Brown hit a three-run homer during a four-run fourth that propelled visiting Kansas City.