Notes: Mabry may miss Sunday's game

Notes: Mabry may miss Sunday's game

CHICAGO -- John Mabry suffered bruised ribs during Saturday's fight in the Chicago Cubs' 7-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox, and his status is day-to-day.

Mabry was behind home plate, backing up the play when A.J. Pierzynski collided with Cubs catcher Michael Barrett in the second inning.

Brian Anderson, who had hit the sacrifice fly to score Pierzynski, tackled Mabry behind the plate and pummeled him with punches.

Mabry had some tenderness in his left ribs and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for precautionary X-rays.

"I saw [Mabry] trying to separate guys, and the next thing I know, he's out of the game," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Mabry was one of four players ejected in the game, along with Barrett, Anderson and Pierzynski. Crew chief Charlie Reliford and staff declined to comment after the game.

Jerry Hairston Jr. switched to first base in place of Mabry. It was the first time in his career Hairston has played first.

Baker said he was worried there might be other aches and pains that pop up on Sunday.

"Usually, if you have an altercation like that, somebody comes up with something they didn't feel until the next morning," Baker said.

Mabry, who was batting .208, was making his eighth start at first base.

Usually in Cubs-Sox games, the fights are limited to the ones in the stands. Baker didn't feel there was a problem between the two teams.

"These things happen, whether it's the White Sox or Kansas City or whoever's in the league," Baker said. "I can't say our relationship is that tense with the White Sox or theirs with us. We're just playing baseball. These things happen. It's unfortunate. You don't like it; it's not something you teach your kids to do. These are grown men playing a young man's game."

Power switch: Matt Murton hit two home runs in April and drove in 16 runs. In 17 games this month, he has no homers and one RBI. Baker isn't worried about the home runs.

"I don't stress power to him," Baker said. "Certainly, we need power. I was thinking about it last night -- you need some home runs. Small ball is good, but you need some two- [and] three-run homers."

The Cubs rank last in the National League in home runs with 27. The White Sox, on the other hand, have belted 59.

"The thing I try to stress to 'Murt' right now is get hits and RBIs," Baker said of Murton. "That's what we need right now. I still think his power will come. I'm not worried about it, and I don't want him to worry.

"In the past, we've had quite a bit of power, but not base hits and speed in between," Baker said. "Now, it seems like we don't have the power, and the speed hasn't been getting on base."

The other player who needs to be more involved in driving in runs is Aramis Ramirez. He was batting .182 with runners in scoring position.

"The main thing we want out of Aramis is RBIs," Baker said. "That's what's down. Earlier, he was hitting some balls right on the nose. Lately, he hasn't been hitting them on the nose, and that gets frustrating. It's a situation where certain guys are better supporting actors than lead actors. We need all our support guys to do what they're capable of doing."

Combination locks: Ronny Cedeno was back in the No. 2 hole after spending four games lower in the order, as Baker tried to find a good combination. Cedeno has hit safely in 14 of his 18 games this month.

"I've been trying every possible scenario," Baker said.

Todd Walker was the designated hitter on Saturday, and will likely start there again on Sunday in the series finale. It seems strange, but it's tough to fill that spot.

"They have a bona fide guy who they're paying and who is one of the best to DH in [Jim] Thome," Baker said. "He knows how to prepare. He knows it's not like pinch-hitting four times. He knows how to stay ready, how to stay warm, how to stay loose. It's a disadvantage when they come to our park, though. Do you sit [Paul] Konerko? Do you use Thome at all?"

The White Sox will have to deal with that issue when they play the Cubs at Wrigley Field June 30-July 2.

Extra bases: Baker has been trying to get closer Ryan Dempster some innings even if it's not a save situation. When you lose 14 of 17, it's tough to get a save. "Inactivity is not good," Baker said. ... Mark Prior will throw four innings in his next start for the Cubs' Rookie League team in Mesa, Ariz. Prior threw two innings on Friday. "They said his velocity was pretty good, and it's getting better," Baker said. ... Wade Miller is still on schedule to throw two innings for the Rookie League team on Monday in Mesa. He's coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder.

Minor matters: Jerome Williams gave up one run on five hits and five walks over five innings in Iowa's 4-1 win over Fresno on Friday. Micah Hoffpauir, recently promoted to the Iowa team, went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, and Michael Restovich hit his fourth homer of the season. ... Scott Moore and Eric Patterson each had two hits in West Tenn's 5-3 loss to Mobile. Chris Shaver gave up five runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings and struck out six. ... Justin Berg gave up one run on five hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings in Daytona's 2-1 win over Tampa. ... Mitch Atkins gave up two runs on three hits and struck out seven over six innings in Peoria's 4-3 loss to West Michigan. ... Outfielders Brandon Sing and Adam Greenberg both were demoted to Double-A West Tenn, and outfielder Luis Montanez and Hoffpauir were promoted to Triple-A Iowa.

On deck: The Cubs close their intracity, Interleague series with the White Sox on Sunday, sending Carlos Zambrano (2-2, 3.34 ERA) to the mound against Jose Contreras (5-0, 1.41 ERA). Zambrano has given up one earned run in his last 23 innings over three starts. The game will be broadcast on WGN Radio and Comcast Sports Net. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CT.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.