Zack Greinke breaks collarbone

  • ESPN.com news services | April 13, 2013

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Padres slugger Carlos Quentin rushed the mound and wrestled Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke to the ground after getting hit by a pitch Thursday night, leading to a benches-clearing brawl between the teams that left Greinke with a broken left collarbone.

After he was plunked on the left shoulder in the sixth inning, Quentin started walking toward the mound. Greinke appeared to say something, and Quentin then charged the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner.

Matt Kemp
AP Photo/Lenny IgnelziDodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (left) and Padres pitcher Clayton Richard have their hands on each other after Kemp confronted Carlos Quentin in the tunnel walk-way exiting Petco Park following Thursday's game.

They dropped their shoulders and collided, and Quentin tackled the pitcher to the grass. Both ended up on the bottom of a huge scrum as players from both sides ran onto the field and jumped in. Greinke lowered his left (non-throwing) shoulder into Quentin and took the brunt of the blow as they collided.

"I never hit him on purpose," said Greinke, who had his left arm in a sling and appeared shaken after the game. "I never thought about hitting him on purpose. He always seems to think that I'm hitting him on purpose, but that's not the case. That's all I can really say about it."

Asked if there was bad blood between the teams, Greinke, who twice hit Quentin with pitches when they were in the American League, said: "Now there probably is. I don't know if there was beforehand."

He said the injury was "awful. It's silly that something could happen like that. I'm disappointed."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was livid, saying it shouldn't have happened because Quentin was hit on a 3-2 pitch in a one-run game.

"That's just stupid is what it is," Mattingly said. "He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something's wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base."

Early indications are Greinke, who will meet with team doctors in Los Angeles on Friday, could miss two months.

"Dodger Nation. I'm disappointed that Greinke got hurt in last night's win over the Padres. Zack I'm praying for you to get back real soon," Lakers legend Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter.

Quentin said his history with Greinke has been "well-documented. That situation could have been avoided. You'd have to ask Zack about that."

The right-hander now has hit Quentin three times with a pitch, with the last before Thursday coming in 2009. Quentin is the only batter Greinke has hit three times, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Quentin led the majors in hit by pitches in both 2011 (23) and 2012 (17). He's been hit 116 times in his career (seventh-most among active players).

"I've been hit by many pitches," said Quentin, plunked more often than any other major league hitter since the start of 2008. "Some have been intentional, some have not been. For the amount I have been hit and my hitting style, I'm going to repeat: I have never reacted that way."

Greinke joined the Dodgers as a free agent in the offseason, signing a $147 million, six-year contract. He missed time during spring training with a tender right elbow. Quentin was slowed by a balky right knee after having offseason surgery.

When they finally were pulled apart, Quentin was led off the field by teammate Mark Kotsay. Greinke walked off toward the Dodgers' dugout, his uniform top disheveled.

After the teams started clearing the field, Jerry Hairston Jr. came running across the field yelling and pointing at someone in the San Diego dugout and had to be restrained. Hairston would not avoid the player. Mattingly, however, said it was Padres reserve John Baker.

"Obviously Zack was hurt and one guy over there was chirping, making fun of him," Hairston after the game. "I asked him to meet me halfway. He didn't.

"(What Quentin did) never should have happened. Zack's not trying to put the tying run on base. Now we're trying to win and one of our aces has a broken collarbone. It's unacceptable. I lost it. ... You don't make fun of a guy that's injured."

Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp also was livid, perhaps in part because Padres starter Jason Marquis threw a high-and-tight pitch to him in the first inning.

The benches and bullpens emptied again, leading to pushing and shoving. But it did not appear any punches were thrown.

"I'm happy to see that Kemp Hairston and all the @Dodgers players came out to support Greinke," Johnson wrote on Twitter.

"The @Dodgers will not be intimidated by anyone!"

After the game, Kemp confronted Quentin as the two players were leaving Petco Park. Kemp walked up to Quentin near the players' exit, and the two went nose-to-nose. Padres pitcher Clayton Richard separated them, and security and police quickly broke it up.

Kemp was angry after finding out the severity of Greinke's injury.

"I'm asking Greinke if he's OK, and he said his shoulder's messed up. That kind of took me over the edge right there," Kemp said.

"I think Carlos Quentin went to Stanford, something like that?" Kemp said. "I heard there's smart people at Stanford. That wasn't too smart. Greinke didn't do anything wrong. That stuff happens in the minor leagues. It doesn't happen in the big leagues."

Quentin was hit by a pitch above the right wrist by Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario on Tuesday and had to leave the game.

Quentin, Kemp and Hairston were ejected. Los Angeles reliever Chris Capuano was given all the time he needed to warm up when play finally resumed after a delay of about 15 minutes, indicating Greinke left with an injury.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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