Side doesn't worry Fowler; bees another story

Side doesn't worry Fowler; bees another story

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler said he left Sunday's game as a precaution because of tightness on his left side, and it had nothing to do with the bees that invaded Sloan Park.

Fowler said Monday that he felt some tightness in his side, which was from crashing into an outfield wall, before the game. He led off the Cubs first with a home run, then was lifted defensively in the second inning. Jason Heyward moved from right to center, and the bees invaded around the third inning.

"My side was tight before that -- before I even started the game," Fowler said. "I figured I'd end on a good note."

He was not in the lineup Monday to give him an extra day to heal.

"If it was something to worry about, I'd be worried," Fowler said.

Fowler's solo shot

Fowler did get some razzing from his teammates about leaving the game before the bees arrived. Heyward was stung more than 20 times from the swarm.

"I told him it's the cologne he's wearing," Fowler joked. "I said he's got to switch it up."

Heyward said he's not allergic to bee stings, so he wasn't worried. Is Fowler allergic?

"I am if they're trying to sting me," Fowler said.

Heyward gets attacked by bugs

Fowler, who rejoined the Cubs this season, signing a one-year contract, is coming off a season in which he set career highs in runs scored (102), home runs (17) and walks (84), and is projected to be the leadoff batter.

If he can hit home runs with a tight side, he must be doing OK.

"It needs to be tight all the time, right?" Fowler said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.