PHOENIX -- One day after the D-backs and Pirates exchanged hit by pitches, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo reiterated that his pitchers did not intentionally try to hit any Pittsburgh batter on Monday night.The Pirates were angered when D-backs reliever Braden Shipley hit Josh Harrison in the shoulder blade with a
PHOENIX -- One day after the D-backs and Pirates exchanged hit by pitches, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo reiterated that his pitchers did not intentionally try to hit any Pittsburgh batter on Monday night.
The Pirates were angered when D-backs reliever Braden Shipley hit Josh Harrison in the shoulder blade with a pitch and then nearly hit the following batter, Austin Meadows, in the head in the top of the seventh inning.
Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove opened the bottom half of the inning by hitting the leadoff batter, Chris Owings, with a pitch. The D-backs scored five runs that inning and four more in the eighth to win, 9-5.
Musgrove admitted after the game that he hit Owings intentionally.
"Obviously, they felt very strongly about protecting their guys and intentionally throwing at somebody, and that's their decision," Lovullo said. "I think the league pays very close attention to those types of things, and if they feel like something needs to be done about it, then that will be in their hands. I don't necessarily believe in taking a baseball and throwing it intentionally at somebody, but that's my point of view and obviously not theirs, and that was made clear yesterday."
D-backs closer Brad Boxberger hit pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez with a pitch to open the ninth, and Lovullo said that was not intentional.
"In asking him and asking the rest of the guys, they give me honest answers," Lovullo said. "These guys have trust in me, and it's vice versa, and I asked him if that was the case and he said, 'No,' and I believe him."
Lovullo said he made it clear to his pitchers during Spring Training that when it comes to intentionally hitting batters, they should not take matters into their own hands.
"It's not something that I believe in, and I shared that with them in Spring Training," Lovullo said. "This is a very sensitive subject. I can't tell you to the extent of what I would do to protect the team. Of course, you have to be very guarded with what you're going to say about intentionally throwing the baseball at somebody."
Louvllo said the payback was to win Monday night's game, but he added there are other ways to retaliate without hitting a batter.
"Although you're fairly limited at second base, you can go in and flip a guy at second base, and there are some guidelines you can follow to still do that," Lovullo said. "You can win a game you're supposed to lose. You could play a hard, aggressive baseball in different ways that can help you play through a moment and win a moment. To me, that's the purest form of any type of retaliation."
The D-backs agreed to terms with 23 of their 41 selections from last week's Draft, including outfielder Jake McCarthy (39th overall) and outfielder Alek Thomas (63rd overall).
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.