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Rays don't believe Greinke intentionally hit Quentin

BOSTON -- Thursday night's Carlos Quentin-Zack Greinke episode was a topic of conversation inside the Rays' clubhouse Friday afternoon.

With the Dodgers leading the Padres by a run, Greinke ran the count full on Quentin before hitting him with a fastball in the upper part of his left arm. Quentin took a few steps toward the mound and then charged, he said, after Greinke apparently said something to him.

This marked the third time Quentin has been hit by a Greinke pitch in his career, but the first time since 2009.

Quentin and Greinke collided hard and the two initially bounced off each other, with Greinke -- who, at a listed 195 pounds, is 45 pounds lighter than Quentin -- absorbing the biggest blow before players from each team joined in the scrum.

"I don't think he hit him intentionally," Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. "I know that he did not hit him intentionally because of the situation and the way that everyone was reacting. I also don't think that Quinton was just going to the mound. Probably [Greinke] said something that changed his mind a little bit."

Hickey said the prospect of having another player charge one of his pitchers brought to mind how the Rays' coaching staff has talked -- "kind of in jest" -- about enlightening the pitchers about what to do in such a situation.

"Because to have that reaction, to lower your shoulder and meet this guy head on, like you're a linebacker is probably not the best of ideas," Hickey said.

Hickey would suggest to his pitchers to retreat from the fray until help arrived.

"It's usually incumbent upon the catcher to stop that guy," Hickey said. "That's one of the reasons you know [Greinke didn't hit Quentin intentionally], because the catcher was caught totally off guard."

Of course, there is a pride factor that is at stake as well. No pitcher wants to look like a wimp, unless they consider the alternative.

"I guarantee you Zack Greinke wishes he would have just backpedaled until somebody got between them -- and the Dodgers do as well," Hickey said.

Ace David Price was asked what he would do if he faced the same situation.

"I don't know," Price said. "I guess it's kind of a spur of the moment thing. You kind of just react."

Price recalled hitting Quentin twice in the past.

"It's just one of those things where you have a guy like him who's all over the plate," Price said. "He's notorious for getting hit, because he's all over the plate and he doesn't move. It makes it tough.

"You want to definitely be able to establish that inside part of the plate whenever somebody is all over the place, because throwing a fastball away to a guy like that is essentially throwing a fastball down the middle."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for

Tampa Bay Rays, David Price