On a night when Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected for arguing with an umpire after Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch, Reds manager Dusty Baker criticized the Pirates and the league for the way they have handled hit-batter situations.
"You sort of wonder, they're leading the league in hit-batsman, but as soon as you come close to one of their guys ..." Baker said, his voice trailing.
Pirates pitchers have hit 67 batters this season, the most in the majors; Reds pitchers have hit 59 batters.
McCutchen was hit in his left arm by Reds reliever Sam LeCure to lead off the eighth inning with the Reds trailing by three runs. Home plate umpire Mark Carlson warned both dugouts, which brought Hurdle out to argue.
"If you're going to warn, you thought there was intent to hit the guy, you should have thrown the guy out," Hurdle said.
Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco said the Reds were trying to pitch McCutchen inside because the center fielder has hurt them in the past with pitches left over the plate.
"He's as well-respected as a player as there is in the game," Mesoraco said. "He understands how the game's played. There was no intent on our part at all."
Baker said the Reds didn't want to put the "fastest running man in the league" on base with the game close.
"The fans, everybody was all upset," Baker said. "Common sense would tell you that's not the time to hit somebody."
Michael Sanserino: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino. First Published September 21, 2013 3:45 PM