Greinke left with a broken collarbone, while Carlos Quentin emerged with an eight-game suspension.
One has to wonder if there will be repercussions Saturday when Greinke starts for the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers against the Padres, who expect Quentin to return after missing a week with a shoulder injury.
This marks the eighth start for Greinke (3-2, 4.22 ERA) since missing more than a month with a broken left collarbone - the result of a confrontation with Quentin in the teams’ April 11 meeting. The Dodgers held a 2-1 lead to begin the bottom of the sixth in San Diego when Greinke’s 3-2 pitch struck Quentin on the arm.
Quentin said Greinke soon directed an expletive toward him, prompting him to charge the mound. They collided after lowering shoulders, contact that the larger Quentin got the better of. Both benches cleared, with Los Angeles’ Jerry Hairston Jr. getting tagged with a one-game suspension, while Matt Kemp and Quentin had a verbal confrontation in a Petco Park hallway after the game.
Quentin said his animosity stemmed from incidents in 2008 and 2009 when Greinke, then with Kansas City, hit Quentin, then with the Chicago White Sox.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that someone got hurt and I do have a lot of remorse that someone did get hurt,” Quentin said. “But I will say that I felt I had to protect myself and that what happened on the field as a result could have been avoided.”
Greinke is 2-2 with a 5.02 ERA since returning, while Quentin is hitting .276 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 40 games since serving his suspension. But he sat out for the seventh straight contest in the Padres’ 5-2 win Friday, still nursing a left shoulder injury he suffered on a swing last week.
Quentin took on-field batting practice Friday for the first time since the injury, though, and manager Bud Black seemed to indicate his left fielder would be in the lineup Saturday.
“Carlos is doing better, he’s feeling better,” Black said prior to Thursday’s series opener.
Quentin is 6 for 26 lifetime against Greinke with three homers. He’s been hit three times, but he’s also been hit 101 times overall since the start of the 2008 season - more than any other player.
April’s incident wasn’t Greinke’s most recent contentious episode, either. He struck Arizona’s Miguel Montero in a June 11 contest, retaliating after Ian Kennedy’s pitch deflected off Yasiel Puig’s shoulder and caught the rookie in the face. Kennedy later hit Greinke, who did not charge the mound and avoided the fracas as the benches cleared.
Greinke’s last start was less eventful, but he was charged with five runs over five innings in a 6-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Friday’s victory for the Padres (38-36) - their 12th in 16 games and eight consecutive home win - didn’t see too much controversy, though San Diego lost starter Clayton Richard after only two pitches due to shoulder pain. The bullpen held steady and the Padres beat Clayton Kershaw for the third time in as many tries.
Though it was the ninth loss in 12 games for the Dodgers (30-42), Puig remained red-hot, going 2 of 4 for his 11th multihit game in 17 contests. He’s hitting .455 with an OPS of 1.251.
Tasked with keeping Puig in check will be Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.84), who is 2-2 with a 3.97 ERA in six starts against Los Angeles. Volquez has allowed four runs and struck out 15 over 12 innings in his last two outings overall, going 1-0.