With the Cubs overmatched and overpowered, Pierzynski scored the game's first run after a collision with Barrett at the plate. Afterward, Barrett punched his counterpart in the jaw and the benches emptied. Both were ejected, as were starting first baseman John Mabry and White Sox OF Brian Anderson.
Later, Barrett reportedly told manager Dusty Baker that Pierzynski had "hit him without the ball."
Regardless of the details, it was the best fight the Cubs had put up all year.
The scoreboard didn't reflect that, however, as the Cubs yielded five runs in the second -- courtesy of a grand slam -- and seven total, all by starter Rich Hill in four innings. Hill walked five and struck out two. He fell to 0-4 with four losses in as many starts since being called up from Triple-A Iowa and is winless in eight career big league starts.
The Cubs' bullpen was effective, allowing just one hit in the final four innings. Entering the day, the ‘pen had held opponents to a .228 average against and were 6-6 with a 4.00 ERA.
At the plate, the Cubs actually out-hit their opponents, 9-6, but stranded seven on base. Ronny Cedeno finished with two hits and has hit safely in four straight games. He is batting .289 in 40 games this season.
The Cubs fell to 17-25 with their third straight loss. Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to face Jose Contreras in the series finale Sunday beginning at 1:05 p.m. CDT. The game can be seen on both WGN (Sox telecast) and Comcast Sports Net (Cubs telecast).
Notes: The Cubs are 23-27 all-time against the White Sox since interleague play began in 1997. The Baby Bears have now been outscored this season, 206-152, and are a season-low eight games under sea level. All-time, the Cubs are 66-66 in interleague play.
Information from the Cubs' Media Relations Office was used in this report.