The Washington Nationals pounded the Chicago Cubs 9-2 as two bench-clearing incidents occurred Thursday night at Nationals Park.
After being down 2-1 in an inning and a half, Nationals Right-hander Jordan Zimmmermann (10-8) retired 14 of the next 16 batters he faced. He lasted seven innings allowing only two runs on two hits, striking out nine batters and walking one.
“I felt I had a pretty good fastball and we stuck with that most of the night,”Zimmerman said. “The slider wasn’t very good, so we went with the curveball. I was able to locate the fastball and go up and in when I wanted to. I bounced the curveball when I needed to. I got a lot of swings and misses tonight.”
The Nationals went up 7-2 after Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer and Ryan Zimmermann scored on a two-run signle, but that when things turned ugly.
The benches and bullpens cleared twice with no punches thrown.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationalsoutfielder Jayson Werth swung at a 3-0 pitch. Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk was upset Werth was swinging at the pitch when the Nationals were u[ by five runs.
Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter walked over to the Cubs’ dugout and yelled back at Quirk. Benches cleared and Quirk was ejected.
“Quirk was ejected for screaming out obscenities to the third base coach,” home-plate umpire Jerry Layne said. “That was the ejection for the coach. The fracas was started because all that stuff that happened that was instigated by Quirk screaming out at Porter. And the obscenities that he screamed out, I just felt was inappropriate and that’s what caused everything. The reason he was ejected was he was the cause.”
The benches and bullpen emptied for a second time in the sixth inning when Bryce Harper led off, and was nearly hit by a pitch from Castillo. Harper attempted to charge the mound but was stopped by Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger, Lane and Werth.
Manuel Corpas and Clevenger were ejected.
“Well you know, the ball got away from Lendy, you know, the benches cleared,” Clevenger said. “We weren’t trying to throw at him intentionally. That’s just the way the game’s played. I was in the middle, you know, where everybody was trying to break everybody up. That’s basically what I was trying to do, just break everything up.”
The Nationals made it a seven-run game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer.
The Nationals swept the four-game series against the Cubs, improving to 85-52.