A couple of high fastballs led to the benches clearing and five ejections between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of their doubleheader Saturday.
Reds starting pitcher Tejay Antone threw a 96-mph fastball that sailed over Anthony Rizzo’s head in the fourth inning. Rizzo and the Cubs’ bench clearly took exception to it. Antone looked at his hand after he threw the pitch.
The umpires huddled and issued warnings to both benches. After explaining the warnings to managers from both teams, home-plate umpire Nic Lentz ejected Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello from the dugout. Cubs manager David Ross came out of the dugout to argue and was ejected.
It was the first time Ross was ejected in his managerial career.
“That was intentional,” Ross said afterward. “No doubt in my mind.”
Said Reds manager David Bell: “Just to be very, very clear. The other team can take it any way they want, but I know there is absolutely no way we throw at anyone, certainly not at anyone’s head.”
Rizzo hit two solo homers in Game 1 of the doubleheader and he hit a double in his first at-bat of Game 2.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay threw a high fastball to Shogo Akiyama. Joey Votto and Kyle Schwarber exchanged words from their dugouts.
Reds manager David Bell jogged onto the field to confer with Lentz and crew chief Angel Hernandez. About a minute into Bell’s talk with the umpires, Rizzo told Bell that the delay was taking too long, prompting the benches to clear.
There was no pushing or punches thrown, just words exchanged along the first-base line. The Reds had three people ejected: Bell, Votto and Jesse Winker. Votto and Winker were ejected once they walked onto the field by first-base umpire Dan Bellino.
It was the third time Bell was ejected this season and 11th in his career. It was the second time Votto was ejected this year (11 in career) and first time this year for Winker (second in career).