MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs' list of walking wounded suffered a net loss of one Tuesday as they opened a series against the Brewers at Miller Park.
Backup catcher Koyie Hill has recovered from a stomach bug that kept him out of Sunday's game against the Houston Astros. But the illness apparently spread to relief pitcher Kerry Wood, who was not present for pregame work. Manager Mike Quade said Wood was back in Chicago "getting IVs."
Wood is said to be day to day, as is outfielder Reed Johnson, who also was not available Sunday because, at the time, Quade said he was not feeling well.
On Tuesday, Quade said Johnson was "stiff and sore," which could mean that Johnson's chronically bad back is acting up. Quade said Wood's arm was "cranky" Sunday, when he did not get into the 10-inning game. Wood had warmed up extensively the previous two games but got into neither.
Center fielder Marlon Byrd had a couple of encounters with fans during pregame activities: one good and one bad.
While the Cubs were stretching a fan wearing a Cubs shirt began heckling Byrd and the team, saying the Cubs (stink). Byrd fired back, calling the fan "pathetic" and telling him to put on a Brewers shirt.
During batting practice, Byrd graciously accommodated several fans behind home plate by signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Byrd provided fuel for both sides during the game. He committed what turned out to be a harmless fielding error in the fourth inning. He doubled in the sixth, when the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out but could not score.
Ramirez stays hot:
Aramis Ramirez hit a 2-run homer in the first inning. It was his 232nd home run as a Cub, putting him into sixth place all time on the team's home run list. He had been tied with Gabby Hartnett.
Ramirez entered the game as one of hottest hitters in baseball. He entered the game with 8 homers and 22 RBI in July. He was 25-for-76 (.329) overall at the plate.
Ramirez's homer Tuesday came on the first pitch. He entered the game leading the major leagues with 8 first-pitch homers. Teammate Carlos Pena was tied for second with the St. Louis Cardinals' Lance Berkman with 7 first-pitch homers.