Benches clear at PNC after Eaton-Cervelli flap

July 10th, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates and Nationals briefly cleared their dugouts and bullpens during the sixth inning of Monday night's 6-3 Pirates win at PNC Park following an apparent disagreement between right fielder and catcher that also involved home-plate umpire Gabe Morales.

Batting with two outs and nobody on in the sixth, Eaton took 's first pitch for a ball then took two more pitches for called strikes. He obviously disagreed with the second called strike, an 80.3-mph curveball away from Eaton, and said something to Morales as he stepped out of the batter's box.

Cervelli then got up and walked in the other direction, which apparently upset Eaton.

"I was kind of feeding words to the umpire. I wasn't real happy with the call, as you could probably tell," Eaton said. "And [Cervelli] goes to walk away, kind of making a bigger deal than it really was. I don't know why you've got to walk away there and kind of isolate us and make it a bigger deal than it was.

"I simply said: 'Where the heck are you going?' He didn't like that. That's his prerogative. But again, I don't know why in the world you've got to leave. The baseball's going to start in five seconds if you just stay there. And now you're making a bigger deal than what it is. It is what it is, and we moved on from it."

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he didn't hear the source of the argument, noting that, "When I got there, everybody was yelling." After the game, Cervelli said he had already forgotten what Eaton said.

"He was fighting with the umpire, but I had nothing to do with that. I do my job," Cervelli said. "I've got to catch pitches and frame pitches. That's my job. I have nothing to do with the way he was angry."

Cervelli stepped back toward Eaton, and the two began talking angrily. There was no physical altercation of any kind, but both dugouts emptied and relievers from both clubs made the long run in from the bullpens in left-center field.

The players quickly returned to their respective sides. Eaton hit a double off Nova, ending his night, but did not score as right-hander retired Matt Wieters.

"I respect everyone, so they have to respect you. But it's OK," Cervelli said. "It wasn't anything. Nothing happened."