When Garrett struck out Rizzo for the second out in the eighth inning Saturday, he shouted from the mound and pounded his chest several times. Reds manager David Bell said he thought Garrett was speaking to himself and showing excitement.
The Cubs clearly thought otherwise. Rizzo glanced at the mound on his walk back to the dugout, but Rizzo's teammates, particularly Javier Báez, took exception to it.
Báez shouted at Garrett from the top of the dugout railing. Garrett yelled back at Báez and then Báez jumped onto the field as the benches cleared.
"That's his style," Cubs manager David Ross said of Garrett. "I don't agree with it. I think it's garbage."
"Even his teammates are not on his side," Báez said. "They know he's wrong. It is what it is. He wants to look at it like that, like he's right, then fine. Be that guy, you know. Nobody is going to follow that."
No punches were thrown and there was no shoving between the two teams. Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas held Báez before he crossed the third-base line. Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson separated Garrett from the scrum.
Báez and Garrett continued to yell at each other from across the field, and Báez gave Garrett a middle finger salute when he was held by Moustakas. Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner said Báez was sticking up for Rizzo.
"(Garrett's) got a style. We all get that," Báez said. "I'm just not going to let him or anyone disrespect my teammates or my team. It was not a big situation. I'm going to try to stay professional with this, but it doesn't matter who does it again. If somebody else does it again, we will go out there again. That's not the problem.
"He needs to respect the game. If he doesn't respect the game and if doesn't respect us, then that's going to happen because he's doing that to us. He's not doing it to pump (up) his teammates. He's disrespecting us."
There were no ejections and Garrett ended the eighth inning when David Bote flew out to right field.
Garrett has struggled this season, allowing 10 hits and 10 runs in eight innings. Saturday was his second consecutive scoreless outing and Garrett's manager thought he was focused on that.
"From my standpoint, I saw Amir speaking to himself," Bell said. "I may be wrong, but I thought it was Amir showing excitement and it was directed at himself. He was excited. He's been working to get back to that point, but I don't know how it was interpreted by the Cubs."
It's not the first time Báez and Garrett have been in the center of a benches-clearing incident with each other. It happened during the 2018 season when Báez was upset about how Garrett celebrated a strikeout.
Garrett wasn't made available to reporters after the game.
"I don't know what he's got against Rizzo," Báez said. "He did it to me in the past. I like what he does. He just has to do it to his team, not to us. Not after a strikeout because I hit three homers against him and I didn't do anything to show him up or his team. He can be 6-7 or he can be 10 feet. We're not afraid of that."
"I love Javy Báez as a player," Garrett said in 2018. "I love the way he plays the game as a player, but if you are going to dish it, sometimes you have to take it. That's how it goes. There are no hard feelings. It is over with."
Saturday was the second game between the two teams this season.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Reds, Cubs benches clear after Amir Garrett strikes out Anthony Rizzo