"When one of their best hitters has to leave the game, that creates angst on their side," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I understand that."
San Francisco reliever George Kontos then threw behind Starling Marte in the eighth and plunked Andrew McCutchen two batters later. Kontos was ejected and optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday, then suspended three games. Manager Bruce Bochy was also ejected and suspended one game. But nothing more came of it.
A few hours later, however, the Dodgers and D-backs' game of beanball escalated and resulted in six ejections, two bench clearings, a melee and possible suspensions.
"You don't go asking for it," Hurdle said. "But there are times I do believe your team needs to stand up, take a stand, but you can try to do that professionally without going rogue."
The "rogue" aspect the Pirates skipper referred to was throwing up and in to retaliate. Ian Kennedy drilled Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig in the nose with a fastball. Zack Greinke then plunked Arizona catcher Miguel Montero in the back before Kennedy hit Greinke in the shoulder. McCutchen was hit in the rear end.
The Pirates center fielder didn't mind being hit, though, and is just focused on playing the game.
"They needed to do what they needed to do," he said. "All I care about is winning, so I'm on base and guess what? Now I can score. That's what I think about.
"Feel better about yourself?" McCutchen added. "Good, now let's play the next game."
Hurdle said the answer for some teams is to go rogue, and throughout the season, tensions build. It's difficult to avoid confrontation for 162 games.
"Sometimes at the end of the day, rogue is the answer for that particular team," Hurdle said. "To get angst out, to get frustrations out, whatever they need to get out."