Giants, Phillies mix it up in sixth inning
Shane Victorino thought reliever Ramon Ramirez hit him on purpose. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel saw it that way, too.
Victorino, Ramirez and Giants catcher Eli Whiteside all were ejected after benches cleared in the top of the sixth inning of Philadelphia’s 9-2 victory over San Francisco on Friday night.
Tempers flared when Ramirez hit Victorino in the lower back with a pitch, moments after Jimmy Rollins stole second with a six-run lead. Victorino began walking toward the mound and Whiteside, the catcher, stepped in front of him. Placido Polanco raced in from second base and was tackled by Whiteside.
”Yeah, absolutely, I think he did,” Victorino said of Ramirez plunking him intentionally. ”That’s why I took a step forward. I had no intentions of going out there and charging the mound. I just wanted to go out there and get an answer. … Obviously, Eli felt like, from looking at his reaction, I was going to go. He started jumping around. Polanco came in and he tackled Polanco. Everything escalated from there.”
These teams have become quite the rivals of late after the Giants beat the favored Phillies in six games of the NL championship series last fall on the way to capturing the franchise’s first World Series since moving West in 1958.
Carlos Beltran didn’t agree with Rollins’ steal.
”You can ask Jimmy Rollins about that. I would not have done it,” San Francisco’s new slugger said.
Manuel figures Ramirez just became frustrated.
”He hit Vic, then he came after Vic. Vic almost has to go unless he wants his teammates to call him chicken,” Manuel said. ”I think (Ramirez) was getting hit and he got mad and he was going to plunk somebody. He was going to send a message.”
John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run homer for his second clout in as many games and Vance Worley (8-1) won his sixth straight decision as the Phillies ran their winning streak to a season-best eight games.
Victorino and Hunter Pence also homered for the majors-best Phillies, who haven’t lost since the Giants took two of three from them last week. San Francisco has dropped seven of eight during the same span.
Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff was in the middle of the scrum and Rollins shoved San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus as they exchanged words. Victorino pushed plate umpire Mike Muchlinski trying to get back into the fray, then was held back by Wotus and Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross.
Manuel got stepped on and somebody pulled on the back of his pants. Polanco, taken to the ground by Whiteside, said he rushed to Victorino’s defense.
”I was trying to grab somebody,” Polanco said. ”It’s not the first one and it’s not going to be the last one. Once you’re over there and you’re playing for something, the Adrenalin level goes up. You want to win and you compete and things like that happen. … We’re both in first place and we want to win the division.”
The umpiring crew, which declined to comment after the game before reviewing video, met for several minutes once things settled down and then made the ejections. Crew chief Mike Winters said he could address the brawl Saturday.
”It’s baseball and things happen fast,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Tempers flare. It’s part of the game. It’s part of the game. It’s competition. Things aren’t going well for us. It happens and you deal with it. … I thought it was fairly clean out there. You hope your guys are trying to break up the fight. We’ll have to see what happens when MLB looks at the video.”
Philadelphia led 8-2 at the time, then Pence homered for the second straight night in the seventh.
Whiteside hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Giants before being tossed the next inning.
”I called for a fastball inside and it was a little too far inside. It was a two-seamer,” Whiteside said. ”I have no comment on the fight. … I played a little quarterback in high school.”
Worley allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out six and walked one in seven innings, beating the Giants for the second time in three starts after tossing a three-hitter on July 26.
Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez (4-6) lasted 4-2/3 innings in his return from biceps tendinitis that landed him on the disabled list for 36 games. He 0-3 in his last five starts.
Sanchez took over in the rotation for struggling lefty Barry Zito, who went back on the disabled list with the same sprained right foot that shelved him earlier this year.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy went back to his regular lineup — with Beltran batting third and Pablo Sandoval cleanup — a day after Cliff Lee shut out the Giants 3-0. Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly in the first to put the Giants ahead, but the Phillies jumped on Sanchez in the fourth.
Victorino had a one-out homer and Mayberry connected four batters later. Raul Ibanez added an RBI groundout. Ramirez relieved after back-to-back singles by Polanco and Victorino in the fifth.
NOTES: Rollins stole his 25th base in the fifth and 26th in the sixth. … Injured Giants C Buster Posey, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year who went down for the season in a home-plate collision with Florida’s Scott Cousins on May 25, could be completely off crutches this weekend or early next week. He is on one crutch after tearing three ligaments in his left ankle and fracturing a bone in his lower leg. … Bochy said Zito will pitch four or five innings in a rehab outing Sunday for Class A San Jose. … RHP Matt Cain goes Saturday for the Giants, trying to beat Philadelphia for the second time in as many starts. His win at Philly last week was his first ever vs. the Phillies. … The Phillies will send LHP Cole Hanmels to the mound against the Giants on Saturday. He’s 4-3 against the Giants in nine starts, including a loss in Philadelphia. He is 1-2 over his last four starts. Cody Ross has four home runs in 32 at-bats against Hamels, while Beltran has three in 36.