Tempers flare as Scherzer plunks Quintero

Tempers flare as Scherzer plunks Quintero

Tempers flare as Scherzer plunks Quintero
KANSAS CITY -- Nothing personal, the Royals' Humberto Quintero said, it's just that the darn thing hurt.

That's why Quintero reacted angrily at being struck on the left elbow by a pitch from right-hander Max Scherzer in the seventh inning of Wednesday night's 4-3 Kansas City loss to the Detroit Tigers. Quintero threw his bat to the dirt and exchanged words with his counterpart, Tigers catcher Gerald Laird.

That prompted players from both dugouts to trot onto the field, with reinforcements charging in from both bullpens. Other than milling around a bit, the assemblage exchanged nothing but a remark or two, and the attendees were shooed to their proper places by the umpiring crew.

"I didn't get mad because I got hit; I got mad because it hurt a little bit -- that's why I threw the bat," Quintero said. "I didn't think he hit me on purpose or anything like that. He throws a lot of sinkers and the sinker hit me in the elbow, and that's it."

When Quintero angrily slammed down the bat, it got too close to Laird's foot for comfort, and he had a few words for Quintero.

"I don't like to have the bat thrown down at my feet like that," Laird said. "We talked about it, and it's fine."

Quintero admitted it was his fault for almost hitting Laird with the bat.

"This is part of the game," Quintero said. "We've known each other for a long time, so we both apologized. It's nothing personal. Everything is cool; it's not a big deal."

Laird agreed with Quintero.

"It wasn't like we were trying to hit him," Laird said. "Then he slammed the bat down, for which I had a little comment. We talked after that. I've known him for a long time. It's over with; it's left there. It's just one of those things -- guys get kind of heated."

Benches-clearing incidents are becoming rather common at Kauffman Stadium.

Just Saturday night, it was Quintero who intervened with Shin-Soo Choo when the Indians slugger took umbrage at being drilled on the knee by Jonathan Sanchez, who also started Wednesday night's game for the Royals. Quintero helped keep Choo at bay in the first of two benches-clearing incidents in that game. When Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez responded by hitting Mike Moustakas with a pitch, another ruckus broke out, but that, too, was reined in promptly.

Gomez, along with Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan and manager Manny Acta, was ejected from that game. On Wednesday, Gomez was suspended for five games by Major League Baseball and fined for intentionally hitting Moustakas. Gomez has appealed the suspension.

In Wednesday night's incident, both the Tigers and Royals were warned to cease and desist. Detroit manager Jim Leyland took Scherzer out of the game before he faced another batter, and nothing further developed.

During the milling about on the field, the Tigers' Prince Fielder and the Royals' Yuniesky Betancourt, teammates last year with the Brewers, were chatting and yukking it up. Fielder shrugged off the Quintero-Laird incident.

"It was just a misunderstanding between two people -- no big deal," Fielder said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.