Cubs 7, White Sox 4
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One day after he punched the White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski to set off a melee, Barrett delivered a game-tying eight-inning triple and Jacque Jones followed with a two-run homer to spark a 7-4 victory Sunday.
“I’ve known A.J. for a long time. It’s tough when you know somebody that long for something like that to happen,” Barrett said. “And looking back on it, obviously I would have done things differently. … To be caught up in this situation is not something I’m proud of.”
The brawl started Saturday shortly after Pierzynski ran over Barrett at the plate. The Cubs catcher then jumped up and threw a punch to the jaw.
Even though Pierzynski sent a message to the Cubs clubhouse that he would be willing to talk, they apparently didn’t speak until a brief conversation—at the plate again—before Pierzynski’s seventh-inning at-bat.
“I’ll leave that between me and A.J.,” Barrett said of the conversation.
“None of your business what was said,” said Pierzynski, who sparked another heated exchange Sunday with a homer off Carlos Zambrano.
Zambrano had to be restrained by his teammates after Pierzynski homered in the fourth inning and pointed to the sky—as Zambrano does when he comes off the mound.
He said he was upset that Pierzynski said something to him as he rounded the bases, not the pointing. And he added that he was yelling at White Sox’s third base coach Joey Cora to keep Pierzynski under control.
“He said something, but I didn’t hear because the crowd was so loud,” Zambrano said. “I looked at him and that was a mistake. … I just said to Joey that I would remember that. I didn’t have to say that to Joey. I just said, `Keep your guy calm.. …”
Pierzynski said he pointed to sky for personal reasons and that he wasn’t trying to show Zambrano up.
“I clapped my hands and the next thing I know he and Cora are yelling at each other. I have no idea. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t stand there and watch it, I ran,” Pierzynski said.
Zambrano (3-2) got the win, allowing four hits in seven innings, including two homers to Paul Konerko.
The struggling Cubs trailed 4-2 entering the eighth against White Sox starter Jose Contreras, who looked strong in his first start since May 4 after coming off the disabled list. But they rallied, thanks to a poor throw from White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe on a potential double play.
With one out, Juan Pierre bunted for a single and went to third on a bloop hit by Ronny Cedeno. Neal Cotts (0-2) replaced Contreras and got Todd Walker to hit a double play grounder to second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.
But Uribe’s relay throw was wild as Pierre scored to make it 4-3. Barrett then hit a ball to right center that Rob Mackowiak couldn’t reach and it rolled to the wall to tie the game. Jones followed with his seventh homer and the noisy contingent of Cubs fans among the crowd of 38,645 at U.S. Cellular Field had something to cheer.
“It was a lucky hit, a lucky play,” Barrett said, adding he expected the boos.
“I expected the crowd to react in the way they did. That is their right,” he added. “It was bad. But nobody came on the field to try to hurt me and I appreciate that.”
By contrast Pierzynski got a standing ovation in his first at-bat before striking out.
Aramis Ramirez homered twice off Contreras, who got a no-decision and still hasn’t lost a regular-season game since last Aug. 15. He’d been on the DL with sciatica and was activated before the game. He gave up six hits and four runs in 7 1-3 innings.
Mackowiak had an RBI double in the seventh to score Pierzynski and make it 4-2.
The Cubs sent Saturday’s losing pitcher Rich Hill back to the minors in a move announced before the game. Hill had called Pierzynski’s running over Barrett before he had the ball “gutless” and “pathetic” and not the way the game should be played.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, of course, had a comment on Hill’s opinion.
“What’s the guy’s name? He should be in Triple-A. He’s going to make Dusty Baker get fired. Shut up,” Guillen said. “When you make a comment that was a cheap shot, you don’t know the game.”
Ryan Dempster pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.The White Sox wore replica uniforms of their 1906 season when they beat the Cubs in the World Series. … Ramirez now has 14 multihomer games. … John Mabry, who was involved in a scuffle with the White Sox’s Brian Anderson and had to have X-rays on his ribs, was back in the lineup at first base. … Konerko has 15 multihomer games.