Astros' Hawkins hits DL with shingles

CHICAGO -- The Houston Astros placed reliever LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday night because of shingles in his back.

Hawkins last pitched in Monday night's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs and was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes. He was tossed after Everitt called his second pitch to Aramis Ramirez a ball.

Hawkins is 1-4 with a 2.32 ERA. He has 10 saves in 13 opportunities.

"He has pitched through a lot of pain. He's taken the ball on nights when he didn't really feel like doing it," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "I think we did the right thing. We need him. He's done a great job to this point but he can't keep pitching through that."

Hawkins, who has not allowed a run in 12 of his last 13 appearances, spoke about the ejection after Monday game.

"Let me see. Do I want to tell you the version, the truth that's going to get me in trouble or am I going to be the nice guy?," he said. "Well, I thought it was a strike and I told him 'Come on I need that pitch.' 'You don't need any help.' And he said, 'Knock it off.'

"And I waved him off and he threw me out of the game," Hawkins said. "Maybe he was having a bad day. I thought he had determined who he wanted to win the game anyway."

Hawkins was then asked if he really believed that.

"I don't know, ask him," Hawkins replied.

Crew chief Gerry Davis on Tuesday wouldn't address the incident.

"Major League Baseball is looking into his comments. From our standpoint, we have no comment," Davis said.

Houston plans to activate reliever Doug Brocail off the disabled list before Wednesday's game against the Cubs. Brocail is on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. In seven games this season, he is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA. He has missed 75 games with the injury. Earlier in the season, he was on the disabled list with a rotator cuff strain.