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ATLANTA -- Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez believes he picked the right way to get back at Paul Maholm.
Still upset from being hit by a Maholm pitch in June, Gomez touched off a benches-clearing scuffle during the Brewers' 4-0 win against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.
Gomez, the Brewers' top slugger and the game's second batter, hit his 23rd homer off Maholm to make it 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
“As soon as he homered, Gomez stood in the batter's box watching the ball sail into the seats in left field, stared at Maholm and flipped his bat behind him.
I don't apologize for this. Just take the pain back. You can see the replay. They hit me for no reason, and I tried to get it back today. It's the only opportunity that I have. That's what I did.” -- Carlos Gomez
Gomez, who was yelling at Maholm as he slowly trotted up the first base line, was still upset that the pitcher hit his leg with an 88 mph fastball during the Brewers' 7-4 home loss to Atlanta on June 23.
"I've been in the league seven years and I know when I get hit on purpose," Gomez said. "I've been hit many times, and I put my head down. I don't make any controversy."
The argument continued as Gomez slowly trotted across first and began jawing with Freddie Freeman, who said he told Gomez to "act like he'd been here before" and run the bases.
"If you have a beef with the pitcher, have a beef with the pitcher," Freeman said. "Don't make us get involved. That's us. We're going to back up our pitcher. I'm fine with how everybody handled it."
Gomez touched second and third without incident before Brian McCann, Atlanta's catcher, stood in the third base line about 20 feet from the plate and stopped him.
The benches emptied, and Gomez was ejected for shoving Braves reserve outfielder Reed Johnson, and Freeman was ejected for pushing a pile of players and coaches.
"I don't apologize for this," Gomez said. "Just take the pain back. You can see the replay. They hit me for no reason, and I tried to get it back today. It's the only opportunity that I have. That's what I did."
Gomez later took to Twitter to say he was sorry.
I would like to apologize first to the fans, MLB, my teammates and the Brewers organization as well as the Braves organization.— Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27) September 26, 2013
The way I carried myself on the field is unacceptable, I should have done better to control myself and set a good example.— Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27) September 26, 2013
On Thursday, Gomez said that, while he was sorry, he didn't regret the incident.
"I send my apologies to everybody in the Braves' organization and to my organization," Gomez told Enrique Rojas on "Grandes en Los Deportes" show on ESPN Radio in the Dominican Republic. "I admit it was somewhat ugly, but I do not regret it because it was the result of something they did to disrespect me."
Freeman said he was upset to get ejected.
"It's a tough game and unfortunately I got kicked out in the first inning for doing nothing," Freeman said. "It's a little frustrating."
However, Dana DeMuth, the third base umpire and crew chief, said he didn't hesitate to eject Atlanta's first baseman.
"Right when he came in, he went boom with an elbow, which we saw, and it caught the third baseman, [Aramis] Ramirez," DeMuth said. "That right there is just like throwing a punch. That is overaggressive. That, No. 1, calls for an ejection. What we saw out there was the same as we saw [on video]. There was nobody else that was overly aggressive, other than Gomez, of course."
Gomez never touched the plate, but the Brewers were still credited with a run because McCann was charged with obstruction.
|Brian McCann and Carlos Gomez go face-to-face after the Brewers outfielder set off the Braves with his reaction to his home run on Wednesday night.|
Reserve Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird was also ejected for what DeMuth said was arguing from the dugout after the game restarted.
Maholm, who dropped to 5-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 24 career starts against Milwaukee, was shocked at Gomez's antics.
"When he rounded third and was still acting like that, I told him, 'Congratulations, you hit a homer. Run,'" Maholm said. "That's all I said. Like I said, he's not the first and he's not the last to hit a homer off me. He's probably not going to be the last guy that pimped it. You can pimp it and do whatever, but at least run the bases."
Gomez didn't blame McCann for blocking his path to the plate.
"If I'm a catcher, I do the same thing," Gomez said. "I try to protect my pitchers, my teammates. I respect McCann, all his players. I'm going to apologize to his manager, his organization, that it went that far. The adrenaline, the emotion takes it more than you expect."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.