Federowicz lands late haymaker in brawl-filled game
Dodgers emerge after five hit-by-pitches, two bench-clearing incidents
By Ken Gurnick 6/12/2013 3:18 AM ET
LOS ANGELES -- It was Headhunting Night at Dodger Stadium Tuesday, no doubt to be followed by Suspension Day.
In the meantime, the Dodgers alternated from livid over the beanings dished out by Arizona starter Ian Kennedy to ecstatic that they rallied anyway to beat the first-place Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, 5-3, on rookie Tim Federowicz's three-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Five hit-by-pitches fueled two bench-clearing incidents, the second one a wild melee that resulted in six ejections.
"I didn't get hurt in the fight," said Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier. "I got hurt high-fiving when we took the lead."
Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig escaped serious injury too, but it wasn't easy, and he threw enough punches that he probably won't avoid a suspension.
He already had a tough game before that. He pulled up with a hamstring cramp in the second inning. He was hit in the nose with a 92-mph fastball in the sixth, but stayed in the game and scored on Andre Ethier's first home run in three weeks. The only thing that got Puig out of the game was an ejection.
He didn't need any help leaving the clubhouse, though, slipping out a side door to avoid talking to the media. Just like Elvis, he had left the building.
Perhaps it was better that he didn't try to explain his part in the main event, which was part baseball, part mixed-martial arts.
Kennedy hit Puig in the nose with that pitch in the sixth inning. Zack Greinke, who has a metal plate holding his collarbone together from his last dustup exactly two months ago in San Diego, retaliated by hitting Miguel Montero in the back leading off the seventh, resulting in the umpires warning both clubs. That didn't deter Kennedy, who drilled Greinke in the shoulder in the bottom of the seventh, resulting in his automatic ejection along with manager Kirk Gibson.
"If you're going to hit one of our guys, we're going to hit one of yours," said Federowicz. "That's just the way the game is. But [Greinke getting hit near the head], that's where it gets a little out of hand. You can't do that. We'll see what happens the rest of the time we play these guys. It's going to be heated."
When Kennedy hit Greinke in the shoulder -- which would have been his head if he hadn't ducked -- the Dodgers went berserk.
Greinke said he wasn't expecting to be thrown at, but knew it was a possibility. He said he was uninjured; in fact, he took his base and slid hard into second base to disrupt a possible double play on Skip Schumaker's groundout.
Kennedy -- who leads the league in hit batters this year after also claiming the title last year -- said he wanted to throw inside on Greinke "to send a message, but not to hit the guy, and it just got away from me a little bit. I was really just trying to go inside because I didn't think it was right what he did to Miggy."
Said manager Don Mattingly: "If you can't pitch inside without hitting the guy in the head, you shouldn't pitch inside. I thought it was B.S."
As the benches and bullpens emptied a second time, "we were like 25 against 72," Montero said. "All the DL guys were out there, too. I mean, I guess their arms felt pretty good because they were throwing punches and could have hurt something else."
Some of the Dodgers remember Kennedy and Clayton Kershaw buzzing each other with fastballs last year, a holdover from Kershaw hitting Gerardo Parra a year earlier. Consider Kennedy No. 1 on the Dodgers' most wanted list, climbing ahead of Carlos Quentin, who broke Greinke's collarbone.
When the dust from the fighting settled, Puig, Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, reliever Ronald Belisario, Kennedy, Gibson and coach Turner Ward had been ejected.
Umpire Larry Vanover said Belisario was "out of control" and Puig and McGwire were "instigating."
"I didn't order anything," said Gibson.
Several more could have been ejected. Like J.P. Howell, who sprinted from the bullpen to drape Ward around the photo-well railing. Like Mattingly, who threw Arizona coach Alan Trammell to the ground.
"I have no personal beef with any of those guys," Howell said. "It's just part of the gig."
Schumaker was the most eloquent in explaining why the Dodgers were so fired up.
"I've never seen a pitcher throw at two different guys' heads before," he said. "It's dangerous. It's different if it's a beanball war. I've been a part of those before. I get it. It's part of the game. I like it. It gets guys going. It gets the fans fired up. I get all that. I love it. But when you start throwing at guys' heads, it's a different story."
Arizona took the lead in the fifth inning when plate umpire Clint Fagan ruled that Greinke had grazed former Dodger Cody Ross with a pitch and Jason Kubel homered into the Arizona bullpen.
After Ethier's homer, the Diamondbacks broke the tie in the eighth inning off Howell. He allowed a one-out double to pinch-hitter A.J. Pollock and walked Parra. Guerrier relieved and allowed an RBI single to Willie Bloomquist.
In the winning rally, Adrian Gonzalez, Ethier and Juan Uribe walked to load the bases for Federowicz, who doubled off the left-field wall.
"That was huge. At the big league level, that's my biggest hit," he said. "I stuck with my approach, didn't try to do too much and it paid off."
Kenley Jansen, installed as the closer before the game, struck out two in a perfect ninth to seal the win.
The Dodgers' win snapped a five-game losing streak against Arizona. They did it playing a sixth consecutive game with Hanley Ramirez (hamstring) out of the starting lineup and the second game with Puig batting cleanup.
The series concludes Wednesday night, but Mattingly tried to dial down the rhetoric.
"I'm not going to keep it going," he said. "They got a lot of guys I respect over there. I don't want to sit here and get the testosterone all fired up about fighting. I don't want to see it, it just happened. We didn't walk in here today saying we're going to start a fight."