CINCINNATI - Maybe Matt Garza is what the Cubs have been missing all season.
The hard-charging Cubs' starter couldn't pitch past the fourth inning Sunday, but he was still fighting for teammates long after the game ended - fired up about the sixth-inning pitch Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto threw over David DeJesus's head and to the backstop as apparent consequence for DeJesus stepping out of the box and lingering during his at-bats.
"It's immature on his part and totally uncalled for," Garza said, adding Cueto needs to "learn to grow the hell up. ... He's lucky that retaliation isn't in our vocabulary here. ... It's BS on his part, just total immaturity.
"And if he has something to say about it, he knows where to find my locker, and definitely I'll find his. I took total disrespect out of that one."
The Cueto pitch drew a warning to both benches from home plate ump Bob Davidson and "probably woke us up as much as anything," manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs rallied for a run in the seventh off Cueto and three more in the eighth off Logan Ondrusek to tie the game they eventually won 5-4 in the 10th - snapping a six-game losing streak and adding at least a healthy dose of intrigue to the next series against the Reds, in two weeks at Wrigley Field.
DeJesus and Garza both said they had no personal history with Cueto - who bailed on the postgame clubhouse before reporters could talk to him.
"I'm not going to speculate anything, but I think it fired up our team, gave us a little edge and we were able to come back," DeJesus said. "That's how I want to take it."
Garza wasn't in the mood to be so generous when it came to a pitcher with a spotty reputation that includes kicking former teammate Jason LaRue in the head so hard during a 2010 brawl that the resulting concussion symptoms ended LaRue's career.
"Cueto should learn you don't go after a guy's head," Garza said. "DeJesus has never done anything wrong. He plays the game the right way. If Cueto has any problem, he can throw at me, and I'll definitely return the favor. I didn't like that one bit.
"I hope he hears this, because I really don't care. ... I don't know what the deal is between him and Zeus, but he needs to cut it out because I'll stop it. I'll stop it."
Said DeJesus of Garza: "It's good when you know your boys are behind you. He's one of those guys that's always going to stand behind you, and that's why he's a great teammate."