MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks wouldn't say exactly what upset him so much, but the mild-mannered second baseman was ready to come to blows with Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno.
Weeks and Cedeno had a verbal altercation after a hard tag, and both benches cleared briefly in the third inning of the Milwaukee Brewers' 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night."He said something I didn't like," Weeks said. "I'm just going to leave it on the field. There is no need to talk about it too much. It's all left out on the field and I play hard and that's about it."The benches and bullpens emptied, but order was restored quickly and without ejections or any physical contact beyond the hard tag Cedeno applied."I say, 'What's going on?' That's it. I know Weeks for long time because we grew up in the minor leagues," Cedeno said. "[I was] surprised he gave me attitude, so I don't say anything."I don't plan to fight. I don't plan on doing anything bad on the field. So, it happened. It is what it is. When you cross those lines right there, you don't have a friend," he said.Jonathan Lucroy homered, Ryan Braun drove in three runs and Milwaukee roughed up Pittsburgh again, winning for the seventh time in a row overall and the 31st time in 34 chances at Miller Park since the start of 2007.Cedeno hit a two-run homer off Yovani Gallardo (4-2) in the fourth to tie it.Gallardo broke the tie with an RBI single, and Braun added a two-run single off James McDonald in the bottom of the inning.Gallardo had been given a bunt sign before his big hit, but chose to swing away with Lyle Overbay closing in on the line at first base."I actually gave the bunt sign and [our pitchers] have the option that when somebody crashes on them, they can swing," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Yo had the first baseman crashing pretty hard and pulled back for a slash."Gallardo pitched six solid innings before giving way to the bullpen. Marco Estrada threw a perfect seventh and eighth before John Axford picked up his eighth save in 10 tries.It wasn't even a certainty Braun would be in the lineup until earlier in the day after he crashed into the left field wall and bruised his left ankle Wednesday in a 13-6 loss to San Diego.Braun was the NL player of the month for April, but came into the game in a 6-for-39 slump in May. He showed no signs of injuries or ineffectiveness by stealing two bases, delivering a key hit and moving without problems in the field."He said it felt good yesterday, too," Roenicke said. "It's hard for us to get him out of there."McDonald (2-3) left after the fourth. He had given up two earned runs over his previous 18 innings in three starts before facing the Brewers, who kept him from getting into a rhythm.Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead in the heated third inning when Lucroy homered and Braun hit an RBI fielder's choice four batters later that emptied the benches.On the play, Weeks was caught in a rundown and tagged hard by Cedeno, the shortstop. It appeared Cedeno inadvertently pushed Weeks away with his left arm and replays showed Weeks asking Cedeno, "What did you say?" before being restrained by third-base umpire Brian O'Nora."Out of line? I don't know," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "You had a collision. Then it did look like he bowed up. That obviously kind of fueled the thing a little bit. It wasn't any more than that. It was no big deal whatsoever. Bullpens always like to run out late when nothing's going on. I've been in the bullpen before. That's the charge of the cavalry right there."Weeks was pulled away from the situation quickly and returned to the dugout, and Cedeno didn't move toward the rest of the Brewers. No one was ejected, and Cedeno got his revenge in his next at-bat in the fourth with his two-run homer to left-center field that tied it."I was [ticked] off a little bit, but I didn't take it to the plate," Cedeno said.The two teams have had a few testy exchanges recently, beginning when Jeff Karstens plunked Braun two years ago, but the Pirates' offense had no other answer against Gallardo or the Brewers' bullpen."We just play good baseball, good hard baseball. Sometimes emotions get [to] some people," Weeks said. "We can't worry about what they're feeling, how they're feeling. We've got to worry about ourselves day to day and try to get some wins."
Milwaukee has the best winning percentage in the majors for games played on Friday the 13th at .639 (23-13), according to STATS, LLC. ... The Brewers put right-hander Brandon Kintzler (right triceps irritation) on the 15-day DL and will recall right-hander Tim Dillard for Saturday's game. ... The Brewers released infielder Demetrius McKelvie and right-hander Alex Periard. ... Brewers left-hander Zach Braddock (sleep disorder) is expected to return from the 15-day DL next week, but Roenicke doesn't want to interfere with his sleep schedule on their trip to California and may wait to activate him until the team returns to Milwaukee next Thursday against Colorado.