PITTSBURGH (AP) – A charged-up Yasiel Puig barreled into a bunch of Pirates during a bench-clearing fracas Sunday, and was among five ejections in Pittsburgh’s 7-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
The trouble started in the fourth inning when Chris Archer threw his first pitch behind the waist of Derek Dietrich. His previous time up, Dietrich dropped his bat and stood in the box to watch his 436-foot drive clear the fence atop the Clemente Wall and bounce into the Allegheny River.
Dietrich stood still when Archer’s 93 mph fastball whizzed by. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg warned both benches and new Reds manager David Bell jogged from the dugout to the infield, arguing Archer should’ve been ejected.
Tempers quickly escalated. The excitable Puig, in his first season with the Reds, grabbed Pirates bench coach Tom Prince and tried to put the 54-year-old former catcher in a headlock. Puig kept trying to plow ahead, and eventually was held back by teammate Joey Votto.
Puig, Bell and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett were ejected, as were Pirates pitchers Keone Kela and Felipe Vazquez.
Archer (1-0) was allowed to remain in the game. He went six innings, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out seven.
Dietrich later homered for the second time. Scott Schebler also homered for the Reds.
Josh Bell hit an estimated 474-foot home run off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafini (0-1) in the fourth that cleared the batter’s eye in center field. Adam Frazier homered on DeSclafini’s first pitch of the game.
Pirates: RF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder surgery) and RHP Dovydas Neverauskas (left oblique strain) began his rehab assignments with Class A Bradenton. Neverauskas pitched a scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout. Polanco went 0 for 2 with two walks.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (0-1, 1.42 ERA) will start a three-game homestand against Miami on Tuesday. They will be the only three games in Cincinnati for the Reds between April 4 and April 22, a span of 16 games.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (0-1, 3.46) will make his third start of 2019 against the Chicago Cubs on Monday.