CINCINNATI – Nick Castellanos stood over, flexed and jawed at St. Louis pitcher Jake Woodford after scoring Saturday, setting off a series of scuffles between the Cincinnati Reds and Cardinals that included relievers shoving in the outfield on their way back to the bullpen.
Castellanos was the only player ejected in the skirmish.
Castellanos, who homered on opening day and hopped out of the box before tossing his bat, was plunked by Woodford with two outs and none on in the fourth inning. Castellanos retrieved the ball and offered to toss it back to Woodford before flipping it out of play.
A wild pitch soon sent Castellanos scampering home from third and he scored with a headfirst slide for a 7-2 lead, bumping into Woodford who took the throw from catcher Yadier Molina at the plate.
As Castellanos began walking away, Molina rushed up and tapped him from behind, and the benches and bullpens emptied in a wild scene.
There was more pushing and shoving before order seemed to be restored. But as relief pitchers for both teams were heading back to their bullpens, they tangled in the outfield.
Back in 2010, the Cardinals and Reds got into a major brawl at Cincinnati. Molina and Brandon Phillips began barking at the plate and eventually Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto got pinned against the backstop and tried to kick his way out.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports