Cubs lose Prior, but beat the Rockies
CHICAGO – The image of Mark Prior rolling in pain after being hit in the elbow by a line drive overshadowed a rare offensive outburst by the Chicago Cubs.Prior had to leave the Cubs’ 10-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday after he was hit in his pitching arm by a line drive.Leading off the fourth, Brad Hawpe hit a liner off Prior’s right elbow. The ball caromed toward third, where Aramis Ramirez caught it for the out. Prior collapsed and writhed in pain on the mound before being helped off the field by the training staff and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.X-rays of the arm were negative, and Cubs head trainer Mark O’Neal said Prior would undergo an MRI – the results will be ready on Saturday. O’Neal would not guess how long Prior, who started the season on the disabled list with inflammation in the elbow, might be out.”That’s a tough question,” O’Neal said. “It’s really going to be determined on how sore he is when he comes in and how much inflammation he has. We just have to wait until he comes in tomorrow. There’s no way we can tell right now how long this is going to be.”Prior’s injury spoiled a rare offensive splurge by the Cubs. Neifi Perez drove in four runs with a two-run homer and double to match a career high, and Derrek Lee hit a pair of solo shots to take over the National League homer lead with 14.”I just snuck in a couple of home runs at the end,” Lee said. “I thought Neifi got the big hits.”After knocking in two runs in a four-run fourth, Perez hit a two-run homer to left off Joe Kennedy in the sixth, giving the Cubs a 7-1 lead. Lee followed with a solo shot to left-center off Rockies reliever David Cortes and added another home run in the eighth.”Your thoughts are with (Prior),” Lee said. “but you’ve still got a game to finish.”Prior was replaced by Todd Wellemeyer (1-0) who pitched 3 2-3 innings of hitless relief. Will Ohman pitched the eighth, allowing Preston Wilson’s two-run homer.”I’m just glad I could give us three good innings with that happened,” Wellemeyer said. “Everyone kind of stepped up. It (Prior’s injury) woke everyone up.”Corey Patterson had a solo homer in the seventh for the Cubs, his 10th.Kennedy (3-5) lasted five-plus innings for Colorado, allowing seven runs on eight hits and five walks. The four runs in the fourth were all unearned following a two-out error by third baseman Garrett Atkins.Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the second, when Prior walked three. The Rockies managed to score only one run, however, on Atkins’ sacrifice fly to rightRamirez’s single with one out in the third scored Jerry Hairston from third to tie it 1-all.Hawpe smashed Prior’s first pitch of the fourth, a fastball, up the middle and off the right-hander’s elbow.”I hit that ball well,” Hawpe said. “I squared that ball up on the bat.”It was an unfortunate event,” he added. “You never want to cause injury upon anybody. I went over there to see how he was doing.”Atkins’ error opened the door in the bottom fourth as the Cubs took a 5-1 lead with four unearned runs. Perez drove in two of the runs with a double and Lee followed with a run-scoring single.”He made a boot,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “Nobody feels worse after you make a boot.”Notes: Hurdle rejoined the team Friday after missing six games. He had returned to Denver last Saturday after his 2-year-old daughter, Madison was hospitalized due to seizures related to Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder. She was released Wednesday. … Rockies INF Clint Barmes, leading the team with a .341 average didn’t start due to a sprained ankle he sustained sliding into second in the ninth inning on Thursday. … Colorado INF Eddy Garabito made his major league debut when he pinch-hit in the seventh. … Wellemeyer’s single, which started the Cubs four-run rally in the fourth, was his first major league hit.
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