McCutchen buzzed by Papelbon, Bucs-Phils get testy

The Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen spun out of the batter's box, buzzed by a fastball from Jonathan Papelbon. Moments later, a Philadelphia hitter paid the price - he got drilled in the back.

Looks as though this feud isn't going to simmer down anytime soon.

''There has been either a coincidence or numerous hit by pitches by the Pirates. It kind of works its way out there,'' Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after Sunday's 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh.

''Our pitchers will protect our hitters,'' he said.

The Pennsylvania teams have played three times this spring - Pittsburgh pitchers have hit eight batters, Philadelphia has plunked four.

''There was something going on there,'' plate umpire Tom Hallion said.

This latest trouble began brewing when Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker and Philadelphia outfielder John Mayberry Jr. both were hit in the third inning.

It turned downright testy in the fifth.

Papelbon relieved to begin the inning and retired the first two batters before squarely hitting Starling Marte. Walker followed with a single and Papelbon's first pitch to McCutchen was a high-and-tight heater that forced the NL MVP to twist away.

McCutchen glared at Papelbon, stepped back in and hit his second single of the game.

When the Phillies came to bat in the bottom half, Pirates reliever Bryan Morris nailed leadoff man Cody Asche with his first pitch. Asche slung his bat aside and took his base.

Hallion turned to Sandberg and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, and the veteran umpire hollered the same thing to each of them: ''Are you done now?''

Hurdle didn't get too worked up.

''Maybe they're trying to pitch inside,'' he said after the game. ''There are a lot of things you work on in spring training.''

Baserunning. Cutoff plays. Defensive shifts. And maybe even some retaliation.

There was no further trouble. Walker homered in the seventh and the next Pirates batter, Josh Harrison, was nicked in the foot without incident.

''We've hit four, five of their guys, trying to keep them off the inside of the plate, and they've done the same thing,'' Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said.

The teams will see each other again this month. They play at the Pirates' complex on March 22 and close the exhibition season with two games in Philadelphia.


Pirates: Adam Wilk pitched three innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. The 26-year-old lefty has permitted one earned run in 10 innings over five spring outings. Wilk pitched for Detroit from 2011-12 and played in Korea last year.

''He was very efficient again today,'' Hurdle said.

Phillies: Sean O'Sullivan gave up two runs and four hits in four innings. The 26-year-old righty started the spring with two good outings, but has gotten hit the last two times out. He pitched for San Diego last year and has also played for the Royals and Angels.


Phillies lefty Cole Hamels threw a side session in the morning and was encouraged afterward. It was the second time he had thrown off a mound in five days, following an 11-day layoff when he complained of fatigue.

Last month, Hamels said he wouldn't be able to make his second straight opening day start after entering camp behind schedule. Hamels' offseason throwing program was delayed after he battled biceps tendinitis in November. He's hoping to rejoin the rotation at some point in April.

''I was really thoroughly impressed with the way I've been feeling all week,'' Hamels said. ''I've really been able to bounce back really well. ... My strength is there.''


Pirates: McCutchen also hit an RBI single, making him 14 for 25 (.560) this spring. ... Marte doubled and scored twice.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins, Domonic Brown and Ben Revere didn't start. They played the previous night against Boston in Fort Myers, a 2 1/2-hour drive each way.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Trevor Plouffe finalizes $5.25M, 1-year deal with A's

      OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Infielder Trevor Plouffe has finalized a $5.25 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics and is expected to be the primary third baseman if he can stay healthy. … More »

      AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
    • Indians lock up OF Guyer for 2 years

      Indians lock up OF Guyer for 2 years

      Brandon Guyer has been targeted again. Guyer, who has led the majors in being hit by pitches over the past two seasons, agreed Wednesday to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland has a $3 million option for 2019 with … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
    • Toronto Blue Jays re-sign veteran slugger Jose Bautista to one-year deal

      Toronto Blue Jays re-sign veteran slugger Jose Bautista to one-year deal

      Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista decided to test the free agent market this off-season. A return to the city where he blossomed into one of the game's top sluggers turned out to be the best fit. The Blue Jays confirmed Wednesday that … More »

      The Canadian Press - 2 hours 41 minutes ago
    • Jays' Bautista back for 1 year, $18.5M

      Jays' Bautista back for 1 year, $18.5M

      Jose Bautista is staying with the Toronto Blue Jays, after all. Toronto said Wednesday the free agent slugger had agreed to an $18.5 million, one-year contract with Toronto that includes mutual options for more years. … More »

      AP - Sports - 4 hours ago
    • Steroids cloud hovers over Hall voting

      Steroids cloud hovers over Hall voting

      The cloud of steroids hovers above Hall of Fame voting, much as it shrouded baseball in the 1990s and early 2000s. Tim Raines, in his 10th and final year of eligibility, appears likely to gain election along with Jeff Bagwell when the Baseball … More »

      AP - Sports - 5 hours ago