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Padres OF Quentin defends himself after brawl

Friday - 4/12/2013, 4:59am  ET

San Diego Padres' Carlos Quentin and teammates battle the Los Angeles Dodgers after Quentin was hit by a pitch thrown by Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke in the sixth inning of baseball game in San Diego, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Carlos Quentin has been hit by pitches 116 times in his big league career and said he had never rushed the mound until Zack Greinke plunked him on the left shoulder Thursday night.

Quentin took a few steps toward the Los Angeles pitcher, Greinke appeared to say something -- and that was enough to spark a wild fight between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres that didn't even end when the game did.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Quentin charged the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, who is 6-2 and 195 pounds. They dropped their shoulders and collided, and Quentin tackled the pitcher to the grass.

Quentin and Greinke ended up at the bottom of a huge scrum as players from both sides ran onto the field and jumped in.

Greinke wound up with a broken left collarbone, leaving the Dodgers so furious that Matt Kemp confronted Quentin nose-to-nose as they were leaving Petco Park following a game Los Angeles won 3-2 thanks to Juan Uribe's pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning.

Greinke twice hit Quentin with pitches when they were in the American League. And whatever Greinke said Thursday "was the final straw," Quentin said. "That could have been avoided as well."

If the pitcher hadn't said anything, "There's a chance I don't" charge the mound, Quentin said. "Like I said, there is a history there, which is the reason I reacted like I did. Who knows what happens if he doesn't say anything or if he motions that it wasn't intentional?"

Asked if he expects repercussions, he added: "You want to look at my history? It's never happened to me before. You know how many pitches I've been hit by? So, I don't know. You can tell me."

Quentin was hit by a pitch above the right wrist by Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario on Tuesday and had to leave the game. He sat out Wednesday night's game.

The teams play a three-game series at Dodger Stadium starting next Monday night.

"We'll see what happens," Quentin said. "Obviously, they are not happy losing one of their starting pitchers. That's unfortunate for their organization. Except, there is a history there. I will just continue to play how I've always played. If there's retaliation, there is."

Greinke had his left arm in a sling and a dazed look on his face as he told his side of the story after the game.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was livid, saying it shouldn't have happened because Quentin was hit on a 3-2 pitch in the sixth inning of 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."

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

"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."

Kemp, one of four players ejected following the fight, found Quentin in the hallway near the players' exit as they were leaving the ballpark after the game. The 6-foot-4, 214-pound Kemp briefly went nose-to-nose with Quentin before Padres pitcher Clayton Richard, who is 6-5 and 245 pounds, stepped between them. Police and security moved in to break it up.

Both teams said the melee could have been avoided.

"I never hit him on purpose," Greinke said. "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 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."

When the players were finally pulled apart, Quentin was led off the field by teammate Mark Kotsay. Greinke was checked by Mattingly and a trainer before walking off toward the dugout, his uniform top disheveled after it had been pulled over his head by Quentin.

Greinke lowered his left (non-throwing) shoulder into Quentin and took the brunt of the blow as they collided. The right-hander, who had his wife and in-laws in the stands, joined the Dodgers as a free agent in the offseason, signing a $147 million, six-year contract.

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