Angry Prince Fielder attempts to charge Dodgers’ clubhouse after 17-4 win over BrewersBy Greg Beacham, AP
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Fielder’s postgame charge mars Dodgers’ 17-4 win
LOS ANGELES — Prince Fielder was stopped by security at the Dodgers’ clubhouse door after the furious Milwaukee slugger attempted to challenge reliever Guillermo Mota, who hit him with a pitch in the ninth inning of Los Angeles’ 17-4 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday night.
Mota hit Fielder with two outs, apparently in retaliation for a pitch that hit Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez in the seventh inning of Los Angeles’ highest-scoring home performance in 30 years. Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson immediately ejected Mota, who slowly left the field while Fielder voiced his anger.
When the game ended, Fielder charged through the underground tunnels at Dodger Stadium to the door of the home clubhouse, shouting obscenities with many fellow Brewers trailing behind. Several security guards and teammates Bill Hall and Casey McGehee prevented Fielder from entering the locker room in search of Mota.
Fielder had calmed down moments later, but his actions set up a potentially explosive series finale Wednesday night.
“He came inside. It just got away from him,” Fielder said. “It happens. That’s baseball. He tried to come inside.”
When asked about his postgame march to the other side, he deadpanned: “I don’t remember that.”
Most of the Dodgers didn’t know about Fielder’s actions, since their locker room door is at least 30 feet from the clubhouse. They had plenty of their own anger after Brewers reliever Chris Smith hit Ramirez when the Dodgers had a nine-run lead in the seventh.
“It’s just part of the game,” catcher Russell Martin said of Mota’s pitch. “Our premier hitter gets hit, and he gets protection. I understand (Fielder) is frustrated, but you don’t take care of that after the game.
“We don’t want the same situation as last year in the playoffs, when Philly threw at Manny and we didn’t retaliate,” Martin added, referring to last fall’s NL championship series against the Phillies. “We don’t want to be known as a team that doesn’t have each other’s backs.”
The late shenanigans overshadowed the Dodgers’ highest-scoring performance of the season on 18 hits. Los Angeles improved the majors’ best record to 66-41.
Ramirez ended his 10-game RBI drought with a homer and a two-run double, and Matt Kemp had a homer among his four hits while driving in five runs. Kemp had two hits and two RBIs during the seven-run sixth inning, while Martin reached base five times and had three RBIs.
Los Angeles sent eight men to the plate in a four-run first inning and used 12 batters in the sixth before batting around again in the five-run eighth. Six Dodgers had multihit games, including three apiece for Martin and Andre Ethier.
The Dodgers hadn’t scored 17 runs at Dodger Stadium since May 25, 1979, against Cincinnati.
Hiroki Kuroda (4-5) pitched six resilient innings to earn his first win since July 3. He yielded nine hits and three runs, struck out seven and escaped a fifth-inning jam.
One night after the Dodgers’ ninth-inning rally fell short when Ramirez flied out with the bases loaded, the slugger hit a long homer in the fifth off Yovani Gallardo (10-8), who yielded 10 hits and nine runs. Ramirez hadn’t driven in a run since his pinch-hit grand slam July 22.
Ramirez, in a 7-for-44 slump before his 12th homer, had a chance for his 22nd career grand slam in the sixth. He settled for a sharp two-RBI drive down the left field line.
Mark Loretta had a two-run pinch-hit single earlier in the sixth for the Dodgers. Kemp, who led off the inning with a double, improbably drove in two runs on his second trip to the plate when Ryan Braun and Mike Cameron allowed his fly ball to land squarely between them in left-center.
Kemp matched his career highs in hits and RBIs during his fourth five-RBI game of the season, missing only a triple to complete the cycle. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth, and Ethier added a two-run double before Mota drove in his first run since 2004 with a long single.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre canceled batting practice to give his road-weary time a little extra time off, and the move immediately paid off. Martin had an RBI double and Kemp drove in another run after Casey Blake’s two-run double in the first.
NOTES: The Dodgers scratched All-Star 2B Orlando Hudson about 90 minutes before game time because of an upset stomach. Hudson had started 101 of Los Angeles’ first 106 games. Juan Castro replaced him. … Junior Seau served as a Dodgers batboy as a stunt for a television show. Seau hasn’t formally said he’s retired from his 19-season NFL career, but the 40-year-old certainly seemed ready for new challenges while running around in a slightly too-tight No. 55 Dodgers uniform.