Ramirez Out 4-6 Weeks

The Cubs suffered a huge loss Friday night when Aramis Ramirez dislocated his left shoulder diving for a groundball in the third inning.

He underwent X-rays at the ballpark and will have an MRI Saturday in Chicago. It's possible he could be out 4-to-6 weeks. Ramirez dived to his right for a grounder off the bat of the Brewers' Ryan Braun. Right after he hit the ground, Ramirez threw off his glove, grabbed his arm and writhed in pain.

The 30-year-old Ramirez has been the Cubs' most productive and prolific hitter since they acquired him from the Pirates in a July 2003 trade. Currently, he's batting .364 with four homers, 16 RBIs, a .417 on-base percentage and a .591 slugging percentage.

He already had missed nine starts because of a strained left calf.

The Cubs traded for Ryan Freel on Friday, sending Joey Gathright to Baltimore. The Cubs also recently called up journeyman Bobby Scales from Class AAA Iowa (Des Moines). It's possible they'll keep Scales, who likely was ticketed back to Iowa.

"It just gets frustrating," said manager Lou Piniella. "Every time you put something a little together, something different happens."


RHP Aaron Heilman, who entered the game in the eighth, gave up a walk to Corey Hart and a two-run homer to Ryan Braun to allow the Brewers to erase a 2-1 deficit. RHP Randy Wells started for the first time in the major leagues and pitched five scoreless innings. RF Milton Bradley hit his third homer.


--The Cubs believe they helped their versatility with Friday's trade of OF Joey Gathright to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for IF-OF Ryan Freel. Gathright was a victim of a numbers game, and the Cubs outrighted him to Class AAA Iowa (Des Moines) right before dealing him. Freel can play second and third base in addition to the outfield. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has liked Freel for several years, with the Cubs having seen a lot of him when he was with the Reds.

--1B Derrek Lee missed his second straight start because of neck spasms, caused by a bulging disc. Lee said he planned to play Saturday. The injury has bothered him off and on since late April.

--C Koyie Hill started behind the plate in place of Geovany Soto, who continues to struggle at the plate. Soto grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded. He's 1-for-9 over the first three games of the trip and is batting .159 for the season with no homers and four RBI.

--LF Alfonso Soriano had his hitting streak end at five games, but he did hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Soriano was walked with one out in the eighth to load the bases. The Brewers got Ryan Theriot on a forceout at home and Soto on a groundout. Soriano has two homers on the trip.


At Des Moines, the Cubs (15-12) collected 12 hits in the victory Friday. CF Brad Snyder (3-for-5) led the offense with two hits, including his seventh double to go with two RBI. 3B Matt Camp (1-for-4) and C Chris Robinson (1-for-3) also drove in two runs. 1B Jake Fox (1-for-2) hit his ninth double before leaving the game in the seventh inning after being struck by a broken bat while playing first. LHP J.R. Mathes (4-3) started and tossed eight shutout innings, allowing six hits and no walks. He struck out six batters.


At Jackson, Miss., 1B Blake Lalli (1-for-4) drove in the Smokies' (13-12) only run in the loss Friday. LF Ty Wright (2-for-4) led the offense with two hits. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 contests and is batting .300 for the first time this season. LHP Casey Lambert (1-2) started and suffered the loss, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings. He walked four batters and struck out two.


At Daytona Beach, 2B Nate Samson (2-for-4) paced the Cubs' (13-15) offense with two hits in the loss Friday. Daytona collected seven hits total. RHP Ryan Searle (2-2) started and suffered the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) and four hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two.


At Fort Wayne, Ind., the Chiefs (14-13) collected 10 hits and stranded nine on base in the loss Friday. Four Peoria players finished with two hits – LF Josh Harrison (2-for-5), SS Ryan Flaherty (2-for-4, walk), RF Kyler Burke (2-for-4) and C Luis Flores (2-for-3, home run, double). RHP Chris Carpenter (1-2) started and was tagged for a season-high five runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four batters and walked two.

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