CHC@MIL: Sveum tossed for standing up for Samardzija

MILWAUKEE -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum was ejected in the sixth inning of Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Brewers when he defended starter Jeff Samardzija, who argued a call by home-plate umpire Chris Guccione.

With the Brewers leading 4-3 in the sixth and the count 2-2 to Ryan Braun, Samardzija threw a pitch that Guccione called a ball. Samardzija said something, and catcher Welington Castillo stepped between the pitcher and the umpire, who had pulled off his mask to say something.

Sveum came out to talk to Guccione and was then tossed. Samardzija had settled down after the Brewers scored four runs in the first.

"Samardzija was pitching a great game, and after what happened in the first inning, for him to battle like that and get excited about one pitch, and for [Guccione] to rip his mask off, it's not acceptable," Sveum said.

"That's not acceptable when a guy's out there competing and somebody rips the mask off for one pitch," Sveum said. "It wasn't like he was [complaining] about eight or 10 pitches during the ballgame."

The Cubs' manager was ejected four times last season, his first at the helm. Samardzija didn't think he had shown up Guccione.

"As far as I was concerned, you can have a little emotions out there about some calls," Samardzija said. "I didn't think I did anything out of line. I just thought I made a comment and that was it. He decided to show me up from behind the plate. I don't know what that was all about."

Asked if he yelled any obscenities at the umpire, Samardzija said he'd "have to go back to the tape on that one."

Sveum doesn't often get that animated.

"The thing with Dale is he doesn't do it unless it's needed," Samardzija said. "He's not a [jerk] and isn't looking to argue. If he ever goes out there, it's usually just to talk. If he's fired up, it's usually something he doesn't like.

"Dale always has our side and he's a team guy," Samardzija said. "My hat goes off to him in that situation, standing up for his players."

The ejection came on the anniversary of one of Sveum's best games as a player for the Brewers. On April 19, 1987 -- Easter Sunday -- he hit a two-run walk-off home run to lead Milwaukee to a 6-4 win over the Rangers for their 12th straight victory.

Garza hurls two-inning simulated game

ARI@CHC: Garza dominant over seven shutout innings

MILWAUKEE -- Cubs pitcher Matt Garza threw a two-inning simulated game Friday at Miller Park and did well, although he struggled a bit with what manager Dale Sveum called "pinpoint-manship."

Garza, who strained his left lat during a live batting-practice session Feb. 17 and did not appear in a Spring Training game, was throwing in a game situation for the first time this year. He has not pitched in a regular-season game since July, and missed the second half of last season with elbow problems.

"Everything was coming out of his hand OK," Sveum said. "He was a little rusty."

His command was also off a bit, resulting in the lack of pinpoint control.

"That's just the first step to get out there," Sveum said of Garza, who faced two hitters in the simulated game.

This was the first of at least four games for Garza. Next step will be 45 pitches over three innings. If all goes well, the right-hander should be ready to return to the Cubs' rotation by mid-May.

Garza most likely will go to Double-A Tennessee for his next outing. Until then, you can find him in Sveum's office.

"He doesn't bother me," Sveum said of the energetic Garza. "He's entertaining."

Cubs waiting on Stewart to bolster infield depth

CHC@MIN: Stewart leads off the fifth with a triple

MILWAUKEE -- With the addition of outfielder Julio Borbon on Friday, infielder Alex Gonzalez was designated for assignment. That doesn't give the Cubs much depth in the infield. Cody Ransom is the backup at second, short and third, and there is no official backup first baseman.

Manager Dale Sveum said the Cubs will rectify that when they add third baseman Ian Stewart, who is rehabbing at Triple-A Iowa. Stewart missed Spring Training after straining his left quad in an intrasquad game Feb. 21, and weather has interfered with his rehab at Iowa. Stewart had played in two games heading into Friday.

"He needs a good solid week to play," Sveum said of Stewart, limited to 55 games last season because of problems with his left wrist that ultimately required surgery. "He had no Spring Training."

When Stewart does arrive, Luis Valbuena can fill the utility infielder role.

"If [Stewart] is here, he's going to start," Sveum said. "Valbuena will move all over the place. You still have to perform."

Extra bases

• Kyuji Fujikawa, on the disabled list since April 13 with a strained right forearm, played catch in Chicago on Friday. He threw from about 75 feet and had no pain. It's the first time he has thrown since going on the DL.

• Infielder Brent Lillibridge, designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room on the roster for Ransom, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. Lillibridge was 1-for-24 in nine games with the Cubs.

• Jorge Soler rejoined Class A Daytona on Thursday after serving a five-game suspension and went 1-for-3 with a single in his first at-bat. He was penalized for charging the opposing dugout with a bat in his hand on April 10. Soler had gone to Mesa, Ariz., to workout at the Cubs' facility there during the suspension.

"He was really anxious to come back, he was excited to play," Daytona manager Dave Keller told the Daytona Beach News Journal. "I just told him, 'Hey, let's go play baseball. Let's go after it. Get into your routine and get prepared for the game.'"