miami – Nyjer Morgan once again found himself in the middle of trouble.
The speedy Washington leadoff man charged the mound after a pitch sailed behind him Wednesday night, triggering a bench-clearing brawl during the Florida Marlins’ 16-10 win over the Nationals.
“There’s nothing good I can say about someone who doesn’t play the game the right way and doesn’t respect the integrity of the game,” said Wes Helms, who drove in five runs for Florida. “We had to show we weren’t going to put up with how he was treating us.”
Morgan, recently suspended and criticized by his own manager for questionable acts on the field, left Florida catcher Brett Hayes with a separated shoulder Tuesday night after a home plate collision in the 10th inning.
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Chris Volstad (9-9) hit Morgan with a pitch in the fourth inning this time. Morgan then stole two bases with his Nationals trailing 14-3.
“It’s only the fourth inning, there’s still a lot of game left,” Morgan said. “If they are going to hold me on, I’m going to roll out.”
Volstad threw his first pitch of the sixth behind Morgan, setting off a wild scene.
Morgan took a big swing that appeared to graze Volstad’s face – before hard-charging Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez clothes-lined Morgan, knocking off his batting helmet and sending him to the ground.
“I thought it was over after (the fourth inning), but once I saw the ball go right behind me, it’s time to go,” Morgan said “Once is good enough, but twice, no, it’s time to go.”
And go he went.
“I saw him running out. Obviously he’s not coming out there to talk,” said Volstad, who had an abrasion on his right cheek as a result of the melee.”
“I was just trying to defend myself and not get hurt. Gaby had my back, the whole team had my back,” he said.