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Dodgers dump D-backs in brawl-marred game

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- As soon as Yasiel Puig went sprawling to the ground after getting drilled in the face by an Ian Kennedy fastball, it was on between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Not only was it on, but it got ugly fast.

In between all that, a close game unfolded.

That is, until light-hitting catcher Tim Federowicz cleared the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning with a double off the left field wall that gave the Dodgers a two-run lead, and Los Angeles earned a 5-3 win on a wild night at Dodger Stadium.

Wild in more ways than one, as the teams traded bean balls and punches after Puig was drilled by a Kennedy pitch in the bottom of the sixth.

First, the Dodgers retaliated when Zack Greinke plucked Miguel Montero in the seventh, emptying both dugouts and bullpens, but the situation quickly settled down and peace was restored without any fisticuffs.

At that point, the Dodgers felt the matter was finished.

"It should have been over at that point," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

But it wasn't.

In the bottom of the seventh, Kennedy nailed Greinke, which prompted a wild melee in which players squared off against players, coaches squared off against coaches, and Mattingly and Arizona manager Kirk Gibson were right in the middle of things.

"That's where it got at little out of hand. You can't do that," Federowicz said, "We'll see what happens the next time we play these guys. It's going to be heated, it always is.

"To throw at another pitcher? I mean, you have to hit, too. That's all I have to say."

It took about 10 minutes to get things sorted out -- with Puig, Ronald Belisario, Kennedy and Gibson getting thrown out along with Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and Arizona hitting coach Turner Ward.

Despite frayed feelings and lingering anger, the game finally resumed tied at 2.

Willie Bloomquist's eighth-inning single gave the Diamondbacks the lead, but Federowicz's big hit in the bottom of the inning put the home team on top. New Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

Greinke opened the fifth inning plucking Cody Ross. Jason Kubel immediately took advantage and gave the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer.

Two innings later, Kennedy nailed Puig with a fastball, sending the Cuban rookie sprawling and a sending chill through of the Dodgers dugout and the team's fans.

Kennedy insisted it was unintentional.

"With two strikes, I was just trying to go inside. I don't know where it hit him," Kennedy said. "I thought I got him on the shoulder, but by his reaction, I figure I got him somewhere in the face. I definitely did not want to hit a guy with two strikes and put somebody like him on base."

Puig eventually rose to his feet with the help of team trainers, then put his helmet back on and gingerly ran to first base rather than leave the game -- the crowd roaring its approval.

His team was angry -- even if Kennedy wasn't intentionally throwing at Puig.

"It doesn't much matter, really, when someone gets hit in the face," Mattingly said. "If we hit (Paul) Goldschmidt, they'd hit somebody. Puig got hit in the face, so ... If you can't pitch inside without hitting a guy in his head, then you shouldn't pitch inside."

Federowicz said: "That's bad. It was scary. The more you think about it, you knew someone was going to knock him down, but not (like that). They say it wasn't intentional, but when you hit a guy in the face, we take it personal."

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson disagreed.

"I know they're mad," Gibson said. "They thought we hit Puig, but certainly we didn't. 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. I mean, it might have been Ian's choice to come inside, but we never try to hit anybody up high or in the head. Sometimes you try and come inside and the ball gets away from you. That's the danger of it, but we're certainly not going to try and jeopardize anybody's career. We respect those guys too much. They responded, and it was certainly obvious. And beyond that, things just got out of control. Donnie was mad, and I'm sure they'll accept no culpability."

Ultimately, Puig was on base when Andre Ethier's long home run tied the game, 2-2.

Federowicz and the Dodgers threw the final punch, and it was a knockout.

"It was huge," Federowicz said. "What we went through in the seventh, we were out there and we needed some runs, and I went up there looking for a good pitch, and I got a good swing on it."

NOTES: As expected, the Dodgers moved RHP Brandon League out of the closer's role and inserted Jansen as his replacement. The move came a day after League blew his fourth save opportunity out of seven when he surrendered four runs in the ninth inning in a 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers signed League to a three-year, $22.5 million contract last winter, which only exacerbates the situation. ... The Diamondbacks suffered a big blow to their bullpen when it was learned LHP Matt Reynolds suffered a slight tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Reynolds will be shut down for the next six weeks. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday, and LHP Joe Paterson was called up from Triple-A Reno in his place. "Injuries can never be an excuse for us," Gibson said. Reynolds had a 1.98 ERA and two saves in 30 appearances this year.
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