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Peralta plunks Morneau after McCutchen's homer

Peralta plunks Morneau after McCutchen's homer

Peralta plunks Morneau after McCutchen's homer

MILWAUKEE -- The Pirates' and Brewers' dugouts and bullpens briefly emptied in the fifth inning of the Brewers' 9-3 win on Wednesday night, after pitcher Wily Peralta's first pitch following a home run by Andrew McCutchen smacked into Justin Morneau's right hand.

After being hit and before starting his way down to first base, Morneau spread his arms in a gesture toward the mound and catcher Martin Maldonado stepped in front of him.

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That was enough for the Pirates to make their slow way out of the dugout which, in turn, signaled the teams' respective relievers to leave the bullpens.

However, emotions never seemed to escalate, with the group of Pirates players not even making their way across the foul line. First-base umpire Bob Davidson began waving the relievers back to their bullpen and calm, and the game, quickly resumed.

"Yeah, you know, it wasn't on purpose," Peralta said. "Me and Maldy talked about it before the inning, before him we're trying to go up and in, and I missed it. The ball slipped out of my hand and went right up and hit him. I don't want to hit a person in that situation.

"I know it looks bad, because right after a homer, you don't want to hit people, but I'm not trying to hit him."

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had no issue with Morneau's response to getting hit.

"I think it's just Morneau thinking that we were coming at him," Roenicke said. "Anytime you give up a home run and the next guy gets hit, I don't care what hitter it is, but when you get hit with a ball, you get mad. I don't have any issue with Morneau getting a little mad there. I know we weren't trying to hit him, I know Wily wasn't trying to do it, and I think you just, you get mad. That's not an issue with me."

McCutchen's leadoff homer had narrowed the Brewers' lead to 7-3. Peralta's pitch may have been in answer to McCutchen appearing to take his time leaving the batter's box after he had smacked his 18th homer far over the left-center wall. Replays indicated that McCutchen may not have seen the ball off his bat, which is why he was looking for it and not running out of the box.

"Clearly that's what happened [losing the ball in the lights]," McCutchen said. "I didn't know where it went; no idea. I can say I hit a home run and didn't know I hit a home run. I'd never hit a ball, and done that ever, so was definitely a first for me, hope never have to make myself look that dumb again.

"Clearly, the catcher knew I was looking for the ball, the umpire knew -- everybody knew it. You could see the guys in the infield smirking as I was going around the bases. They know I'd lost the ball."

Morneau went 2-for-4 in the game after having gone 3-for-3 on Tuesday night. McCutchen has been a season-long thorn in the Brewers' side, hitting .354 against them this year with six homers and 13 RBIs.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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