Cubs send down Hill after seven-run shelling

Updated: May 21, 2006, 3:21 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs optioned left-hander Rich Hill to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, a day after he gave up seven runs in a loss to the White Sox that was marked by a bench-clearing brawl.

In the second inning, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski tagged up on a fly to left and ran over Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, just before the ball arrived. Barrett punched him in the face. The benches emptied, and the White Sox's Brian Anderson got into a fight with the Cubs' John Mabry. All four players were ejected.

After the White Sox's 7-0 victory, Hill called Pierzynski's play "gutless" and "pathetic," comments that did not sit well with either White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen or Cubs manager Dusty Baker.

On Sunday, Guillen responded to Hill's assessment of the play with several expletives and said Hill "is going to make Dusty Baker get fired. Shut up. He just got to the big leagues. When you make a comment that [it] was a cheap shot, you don't know the game."

Baker was not happy about Hill's comments but said the move was based on the pitcher's performance. Hill is 0-4 with a 9.31 ERA in four starts. In addition to allowing seven runs Saturday, Hill walked five in four innings.

"That wasn't right," Baker said of Hill's comments. "What Pierzynski did was baseball. What happened after that was a different story. The play itself, that's how I was taught to play."

The Cubs recalled right-hander Michael Wuertz to take Hill's spot. Wuertz had a 6.75 ERA and no decisions in three relief appearances with the Cubs before Sunday's game.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press