A rivalry in the making? Two unlikely teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals rumbled for the second time in just a few months. During Monday’s game in Jupiter, benches cleared for 15 minutes in the seventh inning, with one out and Washington leading, 4-2, after Cardinals righty and ex-Nats pitcher Miguel Batista hit shortstop Ian Desmond with a pitch.
Both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown. The scuffle included Nats manager Jim Riggleman and Redbirds skipper Tony La Russa exchanging words. The two have been friends for more than 30 years and worked together in the Cardinals’ organization. It marked third time a batter was hit by a pitch during the game. Laynce Nix was hit by a Chris Carpenter pitch in the top of the fifth, while Colby Rasmus was plunked in the bottom of the inning by Livan Hernandez. Riggleman said the Cardinals believed his team started the incident in the fifth inning, when Nyjer Morgan led off and bunted the ball toward Carpenter, who was able to throw out Morgan. However, Morgan bumped into Albert Pujols, who hurt his wrist on the play, but he stayed in the game. La Russa told reporters that Carpenter didn’t hit Nix on purpose. “You get hit you think it’s intentional. They get it you think it’s accidental.”
On Aug. 28 of last year, Riggleman apologized to La Russa and catcher Bryan Anderson after Morgan collided with Anderson during the eighth inning of Washington’s 14-5 victory.