Pirates-Phils exhibition gets testy
Looks as though this feud isn't going to simmer down anytime soon.
"There has been either a coincidence or numerous hit by pitches by the Pirates. It kind of works its way out there," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after Sunday's 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh.
"Our pitchers will protect our hitters," he said.
The Pennsylvania teams have played three times this spring -- Pittsburgh pitchers have hit eight batters, Philadelphia has plunked four.
"There was something going on there," plate umpire Tom Hallion said.
It turned downright testy in the fifth.
Papelbon relieved to begin the inning and retired the first two batters before squarely hitting Starling Marte. Walker followed with a single and Papelbon's first pitch to McCutchen was a high-and-tight heater that forced the NL MVP to twist away.
McCutchen glared at Papelbon, stepped back in and hit his second single of the game.
Hallion turned to Sandberg and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, and the veteran umpire hollered the same thing to each of them: "Are you done now?"
Hurdle didn't get too worked up.
"Maybe they're trying to pitch inside," he said after the game. "There are a lot of things you work on in spring training."
Baserunning. Cutoff plays. Defensive shifts. And maybe even some retaliation.
There was no further trouble. Walker homered in the seventh and the next Pirates batter, Josh Harrison, was nicked in the foot without incident.
"We've hit four, five of their guys, trying to keep them off the inside of the plate, and they've done the same thing," Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said.
The teams will see each other again this month. They play at the Pirates' complex on March 22 and close the exhibition season with two games in Philadelphia.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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