The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates have engaged in a beanball war for four years, and it escalated Wednesday.
Reds pitchers hit four Pittsburgh batters. The Pirates hit two Reds batters. The Reds won that category but lost the game 5-4 by allowing runs in each of the last three innings at Great American Ball Park.
“I think it was one of the first really warm days of the year,” Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “The ball was slick all night. There were obviously no intentions behind any of those pitches we hit them with all night. Most of them were off-speed pitches. One was a slider. One was a split. I just think the ball got away from them.”
Reds reliever Ross Ohlendorf hit a batter in the ninth and was ejected because the Reds had been warned not to hit anymore batters.
“(The umpire) made sure I knew, and then it completely went out of my mind until after I hit him,” Ohlendorf said. “I wasn’t trying to hit him. It was an accident.”
The Reds last hit four batters in a game last July against Milwaukee. This was the first time four Pirates have been hit since September 2008.
In the last four years, the Reds have hit the Pirates 43 times. The Pirates have hit the Reds 41 times. No team in baseball has hit each other more often in the same span.
Pirates pitchers lead baseball with 248 hit batters in the last four seasons. The Reds rank second (214).
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