Nick Castellanos on Saturday stood over, flexed and jawed at St Louis pitcher Jake Woodford after scoring, setting off a series of scuffles that included relievers shoving in the outfield as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cardinals 9-6.
St Louis starter Adam Wainwright was knocked around for six runs and chased in the third. The next inning, the teams started tagging each other.
“Our whole group was in there, fast and furious,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.
Castellanos, who homered on opening day and hopped out of the box before tossing his bat, was plunked by Woodford with two outs and none on in the fourth. Castellanos retrieved the ball and offered to toss it back to Woodford before flipping it out of play.
A wild pitch soon sent Castellanos scampering home from third and he scored with a headfirst slide for a 7-2 lead as he bumped into Woodford, who took the throw from catcher Yadier Molina at the plate.
Castellanos said it was raw emotion in the moment after he scored and was not trying to incite Woodford, who had put him on base with a fastball to the ribs. Woodford said it was not intentional.
“There is no need to stand over somebody and taunt somebody,” Shildt said.
As Castellanos began walking away, Molina rushed up and tapped him from behind, and the benches and bullpens emptied in a wild scene.
“It’s just him playing hard, being a competitor, and we’ve got his back,” said Tucker Barnhart, whose two-run homer ignited a six-run third for the Reds.
There was more pushing and shoving before order seemed to be restored, but as relief pitchers for both teams were heading back to their bullpens, they tangled in the outfield.
Castellanos was the only player ejected. Aristides Aquino replaced Castellanos and led off the sixth inning with a home run.
Umpire crew chief Jim Reynolds said Castellanos was ejected because after sliding into home, he “re-engaged the pitcher in unnecessary fashion.”
In Philadelphia, the Atlanta Braves looked a little patchwork in their second game of the season, as the All-Star Game patch that appeared on the right sleeve of their jerseys during opening day was sewn over against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The same logo was also missing from their hats.
The uniform change came a day after the MLB announced that this summer’s All-Star Game was being moved out of Atlanta over the sport’s objections to sweeping changes to Georgia voting laws.
It was easy to spot the change on the jersey, with the outline of the All-Star patch hastily covered over.
The Braves still have a patch on their left sleeves marking the 150th anniversary of the franchise.
The summer event had been scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park in Atlanta. A new site has not yet been announced.
“I’m disappointed that it’s not going to being there,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said before a 4-0 loss to Philadelphia. “But I’m focused on playing baseball and what we’ve got going on this season. Other than being disappointed, that’s all I have to say on it.”
In other games on Saturday, it was:
‧ Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3
‧ Orioles 4, Red Sox 2
‧ Tigers 5, Indians 2
‧ Royals 11, Rangers 4
‧ Cubs 5, Pirates 1
‧ Astros 9, Athletics 1
‧ Marlins 12, Rays 7
‧ Twins 2, Brewers 0
‧ Dodgers 6, Rockies 5
‧ Padres 7, Diamondbacks 0
‧ Angels 5, White Sox 3
‧ Mariners 4, Giants 0
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