The bee-infested day game between the Giants and Reds down in Cincinnati got weirder in the bottom of the sixth inning when Giants pitchers tied a dubious major league record by hitting four batters in the inning. The record of four hit batsmen in an inning was set way back on August 19, 1893 in a game between the Boston Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates. Back then no one threw as hard as they do now, so I’m guessing it was easier to take.
Ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte hit three of the four and used both arms to do it.
With one out, and the Giants trailing 7-4, he plunked Eugenio Suárez while pitching right-handed. Then he walked Yasiel Puig, gave up a single to load the bases, gave up two more singles and found himself and his team down 10-4. At that point he hit José Peraza, again pitching righty, then hit lefty pinch-hitter Josh VanMeter after switching to southpaw to make it 11-4.
By then Bruce Bochy had seen enough and replaced Venditte with Sam Dyson. He struck out the first batter he saw for out number two and then plunked Joey Votto to force in yet another run. Suárez came back up again, grounded out and the inning was over. It’s still 12-4 as the game enters the ninth inning.
UPDATE: The Giants used Pablo Sandoval to pitch the ninth inning. He hit a batter too, so make it five plunkings in the game for Giants “pitchers.”
I don’t have the game on because I’m blacked out of Reds games, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that none of these were intentional. For one thing, it does not seem that anyone jawed or postured or had any thoughts of fighting about it. For another thing, you generally don’t hit guys on purpose with the bases loaded. Seems to me that Venditte just had no control today and Dyson simply lost one.
No matter the case this was one ugly game for the Giants.