CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Cubs didn't need another team at Wrigley Field to find an opponent.
Carlos Zambrano and catcher Michael Barrett shoved each other in the dugout yesterday, then the pitcher busted his teammate's lip in the clubhouse so badly that Barrett wound up in a hospital.
Oh yeah, the Cubs lost again, 8-to-5 to the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta had just scored five runs in the top of the fifth to increase its lead to 7-to-1. Jeff Francoeur's two-run double made it 4-to-1 and, with runners on first and second, Barrett allowed a passed ball and threw wildly to third for an error that let Scott Thorman score. Pitcher Kyle Davies (3-3) and Kelly Johnson followed with R-B-I doubles.
Zambrano (5-5) was seen pointing at his head and yelling at the catcher in the dugout before the bottom half, while Barrett pointed toward the field. There was shoving, and Zambrano cocked his right fist as they were being separated. Manager Lou Piniella said he and several players walked Zambrano back to the clubhouse.
Piniella said he told Zambrano to take a shower and go home, then returned to the dugout. Moments later, a clubhouse attendant could be seen telling Piniella something. Derrek Lee jumped up and headed into the tunnel, and Piniella and pitching coach Larry Rothschild followed.
Piniella also banished Barrett, who was being examined at a hospital, and said both players will be disciplined.
Scott Eyre relieved Zambrano, who was pitching on his 26th birthday and allowed a career-high 13 hits in five innings. Koyie Hill, who had just been called up from Triple-A Iowa, replaced Barrett.
Davies allowed one run and six hits in seven innings for the Braves, who had 20 hits. Davis, Johnson, Edgar Renteria and Willie Harris had three apiece.