Bruising rivalry: Reds, Pirates tally 6 HBP's

Four Bucs plunked, one shy of team record set in 1890; Ohlendorf, Price ejected after warnings

May 12th, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Inside pitches and hit batters? It must be a Reds-Pirates series.

During Pittsburgh's 5-4 win Wednesday, six players were hit by pitches, including four Pirates. The benches were warned and Reds reliever Ross Ohlendorf and manager Bryan Price were ejected.

The Pirates' four HBP's were one shy of their franchise record. That was set way back on April 23, 1890, when they were plunked five times by the Cleveland Spiders.

"It was one of the first really warm days of the year. The ball was slick all night," Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. "There were obviously no intentions that we hit those guys with tonight."

Over the last four seasons, Reds pitchers have hit 43 Pirates batters, including 10 this season. Pirates pitchers have hit 41 Reds batters, including five this season.

In the top of the fourth, Reds starter Alfredo Simon went high and tight on Francisco Cervelli with a 3-0 fastball. It missed Cervelli but knocked him to the ground for ball four. On the very next pitch, Simon plunked Jung Ho Kang with a fastball on the back.

To begin the bottom of the fourth, Nicasio plunked Brandon Phillips with his first pitch, drawing warnings to both benches by home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg.

In the sixth with one out, Starling Marte was hit on the left hand by Simon's 1-0 split-fingered fastball. Kellogg used discretion and did not eject the pitcher.

There were also no ejections in the seventh -- when Reds reliever Steve Delabar hit his first batter, Sean Rodriguez, with a 3-2 offspeed pitch, and when Pirates reliever Jared Hughes hit Adam Duvall with a 2-2 sinker in the bottom of the frame.

"I thought that Jeff Kellogg did a great job," Price said. "Because after the warning, we hit two of their guys with split-finger [fastballs] and he didn't eject. Then Duvall got hit with a fastball. The game situation obviously dictated they weren't trying to hit him either."

But with two outs in the ninth, Ohlendorf hit David Freese on the hand with a 2-0 fastball and was immediately ejected.

"[Kellogg] warned me when I came in. He just made sure I knew," Ohlendorf said. "Then it went completely out of my mind until after I hit him. I was not trying to hit him. It was an accident. It was unfortunate that it happened, and JC [Ramirez] had to come in, but he did a great job."

Under the rules, Price was also tossed from the game. He spoke with Kellogg for several moments afterward but understood the situation.

"That's what happens when you hit as many guys as we hit today. Eventually something is going to happen," Price said. "You'll either have retaliation or you're going to have ejections. … I didn't really have a beef with the ejection, because after all the hit-by-pitches, at some point in time he's got to run somebody out of there."

The last time Reds pitchers hit four batters was July 4, 2015, vs. the Brewers. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle seemed unsure whether or not the Reds threw at his players intentionally. 

"I think you've got to look at them. I have my thoughts," Hurdle said. "There were a lot of guys hit. If you get hit with a split-finger fastball that backs up, I don't see intent there. For a guy to get low-bridged 3-0, that was a little interesting. Then for the next guy to get splattered in the middle of the back, that was a little interesting."