Gomez ejected after bench-clearing brawl in Pirates-Brewers game

Carlos Gomez (left) tries to get past umpire Fieldin Culbreth.

Gene J. Puskar/Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Carlos Gomez hit what he initially thought was a home run on Sunday off Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole in the third inning.

Gomez immediately flipped his bat and began a strut out of the batter’s box usually reserved for 400-foot homers. This particular ball, however, only travelled 399 feet and just barely out of reach for Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen.

Despite being slow out of the box, Gomez still managed to motor around the bases and slide into third for a triple. But that’s when Cole sauntered over and delivered a few words of what surely couldn’t have been praise.

Then the benches cleared, punches were thrown, and people were ejected (Gomez, Travis Snider, and Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron).

Happy Easter, indeed!

”I’m not apologetic for anything that I did today,” Gomez said. ”I was just doing my job.”

Cole said he told Gomez: ”If you’re going to hit it out of the ballpark, then you can stop and look at it. But if you’re going to hit just a fly ball to center field, then don’t stand and look at it.”

That didn’t sit well with Gomez. He took a couple steps toward Cole and the benches and bullpens emptied.

”Everything had stopped,” Gomez said. ”He told me something, I told him back, then I talked to the umpire. Then Snider came like a superhero, trying to throw punches at everybody. I just tried to protect myself.”

Milwaukee’s Martin Maldonado came from the dugout and threw a punch that knocked off Snider’s hat.

”We’re a family,” said Maldonado, who expects to be suspended. ”I see two guys over Gomez, so I tried to protect him.”

Snider, who wasn’t in the game, and Gomez shoved each other, and the Brewers star fell to the ground.

Pirates catcher Russell Martin called Maldonado’s swing a ”sucker punch” and had to be restrained by teammate Gaby Sanchez as he walked off the field.

Last September, Gomez was in the middle of the bench-clearing brawl after arguing with Atlanta pitcher Paul Maholm while rounding the bases after homering.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said he fears Gomez could develop a reputation as a guy who starts conflicts. But he said he found little fault in the way Gomez initially handled Cole’s challenge.

”(Cole is) the one that started it all,” Roenicke said. ”If you start it, we’re going to respond. Gomey’s not going to sit there and not say anything.”

Gomez said he planned to appeal any suspension. Khris Davis’ 14th-inning solo home run lifted the Brewers to a 4-3 win.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.