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Brawling D-Rod heads to DL with hamstring strain

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San Francisco Giants pitcher Dereck Rodriguez (57) looks on from the dugout as the Miami Marlins face the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, June 18, 2018.

In fallout from an onfield scuffle in Los Angeles Tuesday, standout rookie Dereck Rodríguez sustained a grade 1 right hamstring strain, the Giants announced.

Rodríguez was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday, and the Giants have announced that recently called up right-hander Casey Kelly will pitch Friday in Cincinnati .

The brawl Tuesday stemmed from words between Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig and Nick Hundley after Puig fouled off a 2-2 changeup in the seventh inning from former Dodger Tony Watson. Puig tossed his bat and then snatched it out of the air, demonstrably frustrated. Rodríguez was one of the first Giants out of the dugout to back up Hundley as Puig threw multiple punches at the reserve catcher.

Puig had animatedly complained about an admittedly inconsistent strike zone from home plate umpire Eric Cooper all night, which is the type of behavior that tends to rub the Giants as a team the wrong way.

The relationship between Puig and the Giants has been historically fractious. But much of the animosity manifested between Puig and Madison Bumgarner. 

There was the Great Bat Flip Incident of 2014 where Puig homered off ‘MadBum’ and flung his bat away before proceeded to jog extra slowly around the bases leading to an exchange of words between the two after Puig rounded third and an emptying of dugouts.

Then there was the infamous  “Don’t Look at Me” Stare Down of 2016, when Puig ran out a 1-3 ground out and the two locked eyes in an extended staring contest while Bumgarner could be lipread as saying, “Don’t look at me.”

Hundley made it clear after Tuesday’s bench-clearing incident that the words exchanged would remain on the field. But it’s likely it was a culmination of Puig’s behavior all night that led up to whatever Hundley said. 

Nevertheless for Hundley, it was just words. Puig, though, got in three good punches in by the time all was said and done. Both were ejected and that was the end of it for the evening. But Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Puig will receive a two-day suspension. 

Hundley received no discipline, But the loss of Rodríguez (6-1, 2.25 ERA) for any extended amount of time is certainly a more significant loss to the Giants than is a benched Puig for a couple days for the Dodgers. 

Kelly (0-1, 1.42 ERA) debuted last week with the Giants, throwing five innings and allowing two hits and no runs in relief of Ty Blach. But in 1-1/3 innings in the extra-innings contest against the Dodgers Wednesday, he was hung with a loss when he allowed a double, a single and then a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 12th. 

Cincinnati will offer his first big league start since playing for Atlanta in 2016 and he’ll be doing it with his father, former major leaguer and current Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, in the opposing dugout.

When asked last week how he would feel if he got this opportunity Kelly said:

“That would be really awesome.”

On Deck

The Giants open a three-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati Friday. Kelly faces righty Anthony DeSclafani (6-3, 4.46 ERA) for a 4:10 p.m. PST game.


Julie Parker is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @InsideThePark3r on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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