The New York Mets’ Ryan Thompson had broken a two-for-36 slump by hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning and decided to take a grand tour around the bases. His pace gave Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz time to do a slow burn.
“He looked like he was going to go to their dugout and give everyone a high-five before he got to first base,” Smoltz said.
Then John Cangelosi stepped to the plate. He said he wasn’t expecting trouble.
He had to be the only surprised person in Shea Stadium, then, when Smoltz plunked him in the back.
“I didn’t do anything to him. Why take it out on me?” Cangelosi said.
It was no surprise when Cangelosi charged the mound, precipitating a bench-clearing brawl Saturday in the Mets’ 11-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Innocent, Smoltz said in pleading his case.
“The intent was to throw inside. This one happened to hit him,” Smoltz said. “He was on top of the plate. The circumstances looked bad.”
Smoltz and Cangelosi were ejected
It was a long day for the Braves, whose four-game winning streak ended, and for rookie left fielder Ryan Klesko, who botched plays on three consecutive batters for three unearned runs in the third inning.
Todd Hundley’s fly ball bounced off Klesko’s glove for an error and a run, he overthrew O’Brien at home plate on Joe Orsulak’s single and stumbled on Bobby Bonilla’s fly that glanced off the glove of Rafael Belliard for a double.
“Maybe,” one Met player suggested, “Smoltz should have thrown at Klesko.”
St. Louis 6, Montreal 3--Ozzie Smith homered for the second game in a row and Mark Whiten hit a two-run homer as the Cardinals won at Montreal.
Smith, batting left-handed, homered to open a three-run fifth inning against Ken Hill (6-2) to put St. Louis ahead, 2-0. Smith homered from the right side Friday, his first since May 30, 1993.
After Gregg Jefferies walked, Whiten hit a towering homer to give the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2--Lenny Dykstra scored twice, knocked in two runs and homered in a victory at Philadelphia.
Dykstra, who had reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances before grounding out to second in the eighth inning, knocked in two runs with his fourth homer of the season in the third and then scored the winning run in the sixth.
Florida 6, Chicago 4--Mark Gardner (1-0) gave up three hits in 6 1/3 innings in his first start of the season, and Kurt Abbott broke a 1-1 tie by tripling in two runs in the third inning for the Marlins at Chicago.
San Francisco 3, Cincinnati 1--Salomon Torres broke a personal seven-game winless streak, pitching 6 1/3 strong innings to lead the Giants at San Francisco.
Torres (1-2) allowed one run and seven hits and got out of bases-loaded situations in the first and fifth innings for the Giants, who have won three in a row.
Colorado 4, Houston 2--Darryl Kile walked the first three batters of the game and Andres Galarraga singled to drive two of them home in the Rockies’ victory at Houston.