Volatile Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano gave up five home runs in the Cubs’ 10-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves in the National League on Friday, before being ejected in the fifth inning and clearing out his locker, leaving his status with the team in doubt.
“I’m really disappointed. His locker is empty. I don’t know where he’s at,” Cubs manager Mike Quade told reporters after the game. “He walked out on 24 guys that are battling their [behinds] off for him. “I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. I heard he has retired, or was talking about retiring. I can’t have a guy walking out on 24 guys, that’s for damn sure.”
In the fifth inning, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla hit back-to-back home runs off Zambrano who then threw two consecutive pitches inside on Chipper Jones, leading to his ejection by umpire Ted Timmons.
Zambrano cleared out his locker and left the stadium before the end of the game.
“I’ve never seen that before, someone just get [ticked] off and leave and retire,” teammate Aramis Ramirez said. “I’ve been around for a while. Even with him, players don’t do that. He has been playing for a while. He knows anyone can have a bad game, a bad week, a bad month. It happens to everybody.”
During a six-game losing streak in early June, Zambrano caused friction when he stated that the Cubs, and relief pitcher Carlos Marmol in particular, were playing like a minor league team.
NATIONALS 4, PHILLIES 2
In Philadelphia, Washington’s Livan Hernandez pitched 6-2/3 strong innings and drove in two runs, helping the Nationals down the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hernandez (7-11) outpitched All-Star Cole Hamels (13-7), giving up just one unearned run.
The Phillies were coming off a franchise-best 9-1 road trip and lead the majors with a 77-41 record.
Hamels lasted just five innings, his third-shortest outing this season. He allowed three runs and tied his season-worst with four walks.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, METS 3
In Phoenix, Arizona increased their NL West lead to two games by edging New York.
Ian Kennedy (15-3) won his seventh straight start to become the NL’s second 15-game winner. He allowed one run in seven innings to move level with Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay.
Justin Upton homered, Cody Ransom doubled in two runs and Kennedy helped himself with an RBI double as Arizona won its fourth straight and pulled two games ahead of second-placed San Francisco.
In other NL action, it was:
‧ Brewers 7, Pirates 2
‧ Marlins 2, Giants 1
‧ Cardinals 6, Rockies 1
‧ Reds 5, Padres 3
‧ Dodgers 1, Astros 0, 10 inns
REUTERS AND AP, NEW YORK
The Tampa Bay Rays slammed five home runs off New York ace C.C. Sabathia to down the Yankees 5-1 at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
The anticipated duel between Sabathia and David Price did not materialize as Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach and former Yankee Johnny Damon hit solo home runs in the third inning to give the Rays an early 3-0 lead.
“We were able to get three there early to help David settle in a little bit,” Shoppach said. “I’d like to give us a little bit of credit. We got some pitches to hit and we didn’t miss them.”
The Yankees briefly rallied with a run in the fourth inning, but Nick Swisher was thrown out at the plate by Sean Rodriguez’s pinpoint relay to catcher Shoppach.
“Great throw. I don’t know what else to say,” Swisher said. “If that ball is off by a foot, I’m safe. It might have been the turning point in the game, maybe. But either way, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”