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Pendleton, C. Johnson share heated exchange in dugout

Braves third baseman inadvertently hits first-base coach with helmet

ATLANTA -- First-base coach Terry Pendleton and third baseman Chris Johnson shared a heated exchange in the dugout following the 5-4 loss the Braves suffered against the Phillies on Saturday night at Turner Field.

After making a headfirst slide into first base that did not beat the throw Jimmy Rollins made to complete a spectacular game-ending defensive gem, Johnson walked down the dugout stairs in a composed manner before throwing his batting helmet in frustration. It inadvertently hit Pendleton.

An incensed Pendleton grabbed Johnson by the jersey and offered a few heated words before both individuals pushed themselves away from each other. Johnson grabbed some items off the bench before Pendleton once again attempted to grab him.

Johnson and Pendleton chose not to comment.

A team official said the incident did not escalate any further once Pendleton and Johnson went to the clubhouse.

Pendleton's anger was fueled by the fact that this was not the first time the emotional Johnson has thrown a helmet that has either hit or nearly hit someone in the dugout.

Johnson's frustration-filled action came after he hit a ground ball that Rollins dove to grab in the outfield grass before bouncing the throw that ended Atlanta's hope of completing a dramatic comeback. The Braves had cut their ninth-inning deficit from four runs to one run with Justin Upton's two-out three-run home run off Jonathan Papelbon. The next two batters reached safely to set the stage for Johnson to potentially tie or win the game.

With the loss, the Braves fell one game behind the Cardinals in the battle to claim the National League's best record and gain home-field advantage leading up to the World Series. Entering the regular season's final day on Sunday, Atlanta needs both a win and a St. Louis loss to gain this luxury, which would prevent having to face the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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