Tags: nationals | pirates | brawl | bryce harper

Nationals-Pirates Brawl: Bryce Harper Injury Triggers a Bench Clearing

Image: Nationals-Pirates Brawl: Bryce Harper Injury Triggers a Bench Clearing

(Screengrab via ESPN.com)

By    |   Monday, 26 Sep 2016 09:54 AM

The Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates got into a bench-clearing brawl at PNC Park Sunday, reportedly sparked by an injury to one the game's best players.

The incident started at the top of the third inning when the Nationals' Bryce Harper hit a triple, according to CBS Sports. While Harper was on his way to third, Pittsburgh's third baseman Jung-ho Kang faked a tag, forcing Harper to slide into the base at a weird angle.

Harper's hand was injured from the slide, and he had to leave the game, leaving Nationals players angry, according to Deadspin.

MLB Network correspondent Dan Kolko tweeted about Nationals' manager Dusty Baker's response to the Pittsburgh dugout and the heightened tensions.

At the bottom of the third inning when Kang came up to bat, Nationals' pitcher A.J. Cole threw behind him, forcing the batter to duck to keep from getting hit.

Cole was immediately ejected from the game by umpire Jordan Baker, and both teams cleared their benches and joined in a mostly shouting and pushing match near home plate and down the third base line, Deadspin stated. The Pirates' Sean Rodriguez was also ejected from the game.

"It took a few minutes, but the benches eventually cleared, with Rodriguez and Francisco Cervelli exhibiting the most displeasure from the Pirates and Jayson Werth for the Nats," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Bill Brink reported. "Rodriguez eventually went after someone, and Gerrit Cole and David Freese had to hold him back."

The Nationals, which clinched the National League East title recently, went on to win the game 10-7.

"Today was one of those days where you kind of just chalk it up," Werth told The Washington Post of the game overall, but could as well have been talking about the third-inning scuffle. "But I think the way we responded, the way we battled, I felt like if we weren't already, we were a championship-caliber team."

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The Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates got into a bench-clearing brawl at PNC Park Sunday, reportedly sparked by an injury to one the game's best players.
nationals, pirates, brawl, bryce harper
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2016-54-26
Monday, 26 Sep 2016 09:54 AM
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