K-Rod charged with hitting father-in-law

New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was arrested Wednesday night, accused of punching his father-in-law in the team’s clubhouse, police said.

Police said that Rodriguez was charged with third-degree assault and that his father-in-law went to a hospital with facial bruises and other injuries.

The altercation occurred in the family lounge at Citi Field where relatives were waiting for players after the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. At one point, Rodriguez was outside the lounge yelling before security got him back in the clubhouse, the New York Daily News also reported.

The Mets confirmed there was an incident between Rodriguez and his family and referred all questions to the police, who said the pitcher would be arraigned at Queens Criminal Court Thursday.

Rodriguez blew up at reporters who tried to talk to him after the game but before he allegedly attacked his father-in-law, the New York Post reported. Rodriguez’s agent declined to comment.

Rodriguez has had previous confrontations with a team official, a coach and an opponent in his 1-1/2 seasons with the Mets, though none of them reached this level.

The excitable 28-year-old pitcher signed a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets after posting a record 62 saves with the Angels in 2008. He is 4-2 with 25 saves and a 2.24 ERA this season.

Rodriguez did not pitch in the Mets’ latest loss, which dropped them below .500. Reliever Manny Acosta gave up a two-out grand slam to Colorado’s Melvin Mora in the eighth inning.

In May, Rodriguez and bullpen coach Randy Niemann got into a heated exchange while the pitcher was preparing to enter a game. Mets manager Jerry Manuel later said the matter was resolved without divulging what caused the dispute.

In July 2009, Rodriguez and former Mets official Tony Bernazard argued aboard the team bus. Bernazard was later fired by the Mets amid several allegations.

That June, Rodriguez and New York Yankees reliever Brian Bruney needed to be separated before a game. They had jawed at each other in the media a day earlier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.