Puig, Hundley tangle as benches clear in LA

August 15th, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Those longtime antagonists, the Giants and Dodgers, renewed hostilities on Tuesday night with a benches-and-bullpens-clearing incident in the seventh inning of San Francisco's 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles right fielder and San Francisco catcher Nick Hundley were ejected from the game for igniting the furor, which seemingly sprang from nowhere during Puig's at-bat.

Puig had a 1-2 count when he appeared to express frustration at fouling off a Tony Watson pitch. Following that, he and Hundley began jawing at each other. Emotions skyrocketed quickly, as Puig pushed Hundley, who quickly responded with a shove. That's all it took for members of both teams to sprint toward home plate and hover threateningly around each other, except for the handful who actively tried to separate Puig and Hundley to prevent matters from escalating.

Speaking through a Dodgers interpreter, Puig claimed that Hundley took issue with his self-disgust.

"When I missed the pitch, I knew that was the best pitch Watson was going to throw me, so I was a little upset," Puig said. "[Hundley] told me to stop complaining and get back into the box, and when I got into his face he told me to also get out of his face, so that's when I got upset."

The disagreement could have stopped there. It didn't.

"I didn't like that he was telling me what to do, and then he said some words to me in English that I really can't repeat," Puig said. "That's why I was upset."

Hundley offered his explanation for the built-in tension.

"We're competing on the field against a team we're chasing," he said. "They've been scuffling a little bit and we're trying to catch them. It's obviously a nice rivalry. We had some words, pushed a couple of times and you saw what happened. There's really nothing more to it than that."

Hundley refused to divulge anything about his dialogue with Puig.

"All the stuff that's said on the field, that'll be left out there," Hundley said.

If Hundley regretted anything, it was inadvertently placing Dodgers third-base coach George Lombard in harm's way. Lombard entered the fray apparently to serve as a would-be peacemaker. Instead, he got thrown in a small cement mixer of bodies.

"He was in there trying to break it up," Hundley said. "I think he got caught in my chest protector."

This wasn't Puig's first confrontational experience with the Giants. He and San Francisco's ace, , exchanged harsh words and cold stares in previous seasons. And just a night earlier, Bumgarner appeared to have an issue similar to Hundley's, seemingly taking some exception to Puig expressing frustration in the batter's box.

"It doesn't happen with other teams, and it doesn't seem to happen when we're in San Francisco," Puig said. "It usually seems to happen when we're here, and I'm not going to let them act like that in our house."

It was the fourth career ejection for both players. Neither had been tossed since 2015.