Benches clear after Bumgarner plunks Puig

Benches clear after Bumgarner plunks Puig

LOS ANGELES -- Benches cleared in the first inning of Tuesday night's game, a 4-2 Dodgers win, when Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner hit Yasiel Puig with a 1-2 slider after Justin Turner led off the inning with a home run.

Puig hit the dirt when the pitch hit his foot, looked at Bumgarner, then the two exchanged words and the scrum was on. Puig had been hit by a Jake Peavy pitch in the first inning on Monday night and leads the Dodgers in HBPs with 12, twice as many as any teammate.

"He looked at me and said, 'What are you looking at?'" said Puig. "I reacted after that comment."

Puig jumped up, Bumgarner cast aside his glove and challenged Puig to fight, and both clubs converged on home plate. Plate umpire Adrian Johnson restrained Puig first, then came teammate Matt Kemp and, finally, manager Don Mattingly ushered Puig away from the action. No punches were thrown, nobody was ejected and both benches were warned by Johnson.

"I tried to strike him out on a back-door cutter, threw it across [and] hit him in the foot," said Bumgarner. "It happens pretty often to a left-handed pitcher with a cutter or a slider. ... He turned around and looked at me like he had something in mind, so ...

"I probably said something first. He's sitting there staring at me. I don't know how to say this without getting myself in trouble but -- I don't know."

Puig and Bumgarner have a history. On May 9, Puig homered off Bumgarner and flipped his bat in celebration. Bumgarner yelled at Puig as he circled the bases and came toward him between third base and home plate.

"I hit a home run, and we had a little back and forth," said Puig. "I'm not sure if it continued tonight. I just reacted tonight."

Mattingly remembers the earlier incident, though he was unsure about linking the two, and rushed to make sure Puig didn't escalate the incident and get ejected or suspended.

"They had a little thing -- was it here? -- I don't think he was trying to hit him. I'd be surprised if he was," said Mattingly. "I was surprised at his reaction when Yasiel got up and looked out there.

"I just told Yasiel we need him in the game, we need him to stay in control and not let it escalate. Play baseball. Make sure we play them tomorrow and we have a chance to play them later [in the playoffs]. The best way to respond is to play baseball, the best way is to do it with the bat, the best way is to do it with the glove. I feel there's a good chance there's more games to come, and we need him playing baseball and not let that get out of control."

Bumgarner said that hitting Puig was an accident.

"He'll know if it's on purpose. I'll make sure of that. Which it wasn't. Obviously," he said.

Kemp, who chastised Puig in the dugout in Colorado for not hustling, raced to protect his teammate.

"We need our best players in the game, and I wanted to make sure he didn't do something stupid," said Kemp, who followed one batter later with a two-run homer.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.