Beanball: Harper, Votto exchange words after HBP

Published May. 29, 2015 10:11 p.m. ET

In the seventh inning of Friday night's contest between the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper took a fastball from Reds pitcher Tony Cingrani square in the back.

Harper was none too please.

The hit-by-pitch came with first base open, and the Reds holding a 4-2 lead. It also happened to be Cingrani's very first pitch since coming into the game from the bullpen.

Intentional or not, Harper took offense and exchanged a few words with Cingrani as he leisurely made his way to first. Reds first baseman Joey Votto came to Cingrani's defense and Harper and Votto had a discussion of their own once he reached first base.

Following the game, Cingrani had this to say on Harper: "He should have jogged. Be a baseball player." 

Harper characterized his interaction with Votto as 'playful conversation', and said he doesn't believe Cingrani was intentionally trying to hit him.

Votto sidestepped any talk of incident telling the media after the game he didn't know what they were talking about.


Cooler heads prevailed, but this could make for an interesting storyline throughout the remainder of the series.