Reds reliever Amir Garrett rushed the Pirates’ dugout and threw punches in the ninth inning, starting a brawl prolonged by Cincinnati outfielder Yasiel Puig, and Pittsburgh ended its longest losing streak in eight years with an 11-4 victory Tuesday night.
Reds manager David Bell faces a suspension for running onto the field to join the fracas after being ejected an inning earlier. He was put in a headlock by Pirates hitting coach Rick Eckstein, got himself out and shouted at Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. In all, five Reds were ejected.
Puig, it turns out, was playing in his last game with the Reds. He was dealt to Cleveland as part of a three-team trade that sent pitcher Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati, according to multiple media reports. The deal has yet to be officially announced, but Puig tweeted a farewell to Cincinnati and a hello to Cleveland late Tuesday night.
The latest dust-up between the Pirates and Reds was sparked when Pittsburgh’s Keone Kela threw up and in to Derek Dietrich in the seventh. After the inning, first baseman Joey Votto walked toward the Pirates dugout and exchanged words with Kela, but plate umpire Larry Vanover got in front of Votto. In April, Dietrich admired one of his homers at PNC Park, leading to a benches-clearing clash.
The ejections started in the eighth, when Bell was tossed for arguing a strike call with Puig at bat. Reds reliever Jared Hughes was ejected in the ninth for hitting Starling Marte with his first pitch.
Garrett came on to pitch, exchanged words with the Pirates, sprinted toward the dugout and threw a couple of punches to spark the brawl.
Garrett was dragged to the ground by roughly half the Pirates team before backup arrived. Bell was among the first Reds to join the fray and had to be separated from Hurdle. He later helped restrain Puig, who reignited the melee with more shouting and shoving.
Puig was also at the center of the memorable fight that followed Dietrich’s homer in April, taking on nearly the entire Pirates team at one point — a striking image with Pittsburgh sporting bright yellow throwback uniforms.