After each starting pitcher accidentally hit an opposing batter without incident, it would seem like things would be equal and things would return to normal between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Well, it didn’t.
After rookie phenom Yasiel Puig, a Cuban defector only weeks into career, took a pitch to the face, things just escalated.
Zack Greinke hit Miguel Montero in the seventh and Ian Kennedy responded by hitting Greinke in the bottom of the inning, sparking a brawl that resulted in six rejections before the Diamondbacks lost 5-3 Tuesday night.
Kennedy, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and coach Turner Ward, along with Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig, reliever Ronald Belisario and hitting coach Mark McGwire were ejected after the prolonged fight that nearly spilled into the stands.
"It got pretty ugly. They came out of nowhere, just throwing punches," Montero said. "When everybody was trying to break it up, they just kept coming and throwing punches. It was like 25 against 72, because all the DL guys were out there, too."
The umpires had a tough time corralling everyone because the brawl backed up against a railing near the D-backs' dugout.
"We can't surround the situation. We can only be on one side of it," crew chief Brian Gorman told a pool reporter after the game. "That's kind of why the league probably will pull up video. If someone was being an aggressor that we didn't see, I'm sure there will be ramifications. We did look at the video, and I think everybody who was a pretty good aggressor we got."
Greinke hitting Montero in the back drew both teams onto the field, but the scrum broke up quickly with no punches thrown.
That was payback for Kennedy hitting Puig in bottom of the sixth — the ball deflected off Puig's shoulder and grazed his nose. In the fifth, Greinke had hit Cody Ross.
"I know they're mad. They thought we hit Puig, but certainly we didn't," Gibson said. "The guy hits everything out over the plate. But the ball got away from Ian and got inside. It's as simple as that. I didn't order anything. It's certainly not what Ian wanted to do."
Kennedy then hit Greinke in the upper left shoulder — the ball then deflected off his helmet — with one out in the seventh and the game tied 2-all. It was the 41st batter Kennedy has hit since the start of 2010.
"I didn't think it was right what he did to Miggy, but it was not intentional on my part (throwing at Greinke)," Kennedy said. "I honestly had no idea that it was that high until I saw the replay."
Kennedy immediately was tossed and calmly walked toward the Diamondbacks dugout before players poured onto the field and relievers ran in from the bullpens.
"We're certainly not going to try and jeopardize anybody's career. We respect those guys too much," Gibson said. "They responded and it was certainly obvious. And beyond that, things just got out of control. Donnie (Mattingly) was mad, and I'm sure they'll accept no culpability."
Belisario began throwing punches and Puig rushed into the melee. Ward got slammed against a railing and was put in a headlock by Dodgers left fielder Skip Schumaker, who appeared to be trying to break up the fight as both teams kept pushing closer to the stands.
McGwire had Gibson's jersey and windbreaker with both hands and was screaming at him.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had to be restrained as he tried to get at Gibson, then they exchanged words briefly. McGwire and third base coach Matt Williams grabbed each other's shirts in a tense standoff and shouted at each other.
Montero, still in full catching gear, ended up on the ground next to Ward.
When play resumed, Greinke took his spot at first base and, made a hard slide into second base when Schumaker, the next batter, grounded into a fielder's choice.
Greinke had spent more than a month on the disabled list after breaking his collarbone in a brawl with Carlos Quentin, when he hit the Padres outfielder with a pitch on April 11.
Tim Federowicz hit a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth inning after David Hernandez (3-2) walked the bases loaded.
After Puig got hit, Andre Ethier followed with a two-run homer off Kennedy that tied the game 2-all.
Willie Bloomquist's RBI single in the eighth gave Arizona a 3-2 lead.
Matt Guerrier (2-2) got the win and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn his third save.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.