PITTSBURGH — Chicago Cubs center fielder Emilio Bonifacio left Thursday night’s game against Pittsburgh in the first inning because of a right ribcage injury and is likely headed to the 15-day disabled list.
Bonifacio hit a grounder to shortstop and immediately tumbled out of the batter’s box. Bonifacio was on the ground for several moments in pain while receiving medical assistance and pointing to his right side.
Bonifacio will be re-examined on Friday, but it’s highly possible the Cubs could place him on the D.L. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney is on a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Kane County but was pulled from the starting lineup shortly before his game at Peoria. Sweeney is recovering from a hamstring injury suffered on May 2.
Bonifacio is batting .266 and leads the team with 13 stolen bases. He has played in 61 of the Cubs’ 64 games.
Bonifacio’s injury was the start of a miserable night for the Cubs, who lost at Pittsburgh 4-0. The game was delayed by rain for one hour, 14 minutes, with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Jeff Samardzija was pulled after allowing his season-high ninth hit to pinch hitter Travis Snider to start the seventh.
In the fourth, Russell Martin poked an outside pitch that landed just inside the right field line for what turned out to be a ground rule double to score the first run off Samardzija, and Jordy Mercer added a sacrifice fly.
The Pirates added two more runs in the fifth on a two-run triple by Andrew McCutchen, who is 12 for 29 lifetime against Samardzija.
The Cubs were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. With the Cubs operating a short-handed bench, Samardzija batted with one out in the seventh and whacked a double, only to be left stranded.
The start of the game was delayed by 21 minutes because of rain.
The Cubs (26-38), who fell to 11-24 on the road, travel to Philadelphia to open a three-game series Friday night.