Sports

Reds' Phillips puts a match to series with Cardinals

Outspoken Brandon Phillips was in the middle of a first-inning altercation between the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, who evidently don't appreciate being called complainers.

The second baseman had words with Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina when he came to bat in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night. Phillips removed his helmet, and Molina took off his mask as their exchange escalated.

Both benches and bullpens emptied, but there was nothing more than shoving initially. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Dusty Baker exchanged words in the middle of the crowd.

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen went after Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter near the edge of the crowd, and the two wound up crunched against the backstop. Carpenter, who got the win in a 7-3 victory Monday night, got shoved into the backstop screen.

Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto ended up with his back against the backstop, kicking furiously to free himself from the mob.

The altercation ended after seven minutes. Both managers were ejected but no players.

Phillips got the showdown series started with a little animosity on Monday by saying he hated the Cardinals, whom he called complainers

La Russa wasn’t happy with the comment and mentioned it to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, who worked with him in St. Louis.

The Cardinals are defending NL Central champs but have been locked in a back-and-forth race since May with the upstart Reds, who haven’t had a winning record since 2000 and haven’t been to the playoffs since 1995.

MORROW GETS REST

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow will get eight days off before his next start after throwing a career-high 137 pitches in his last outing, a one-hit, 17-strikeout victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Morrow, 9-6 with a 4.45 ERA, lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday when Evan Longoria grounded an infield single off the glove of second baseman Aaron Hill. Morrow struck out Dan Johnson for the final out of the 1-0 victory.

It was the first career complete game and first shutout for Morrow, a former Seattle Mariners first-round draft choice.

SHORT HOPS

Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler had another MRI and results show he still has inflammation in his groin area and is at least another week from swinging a bat. He has been on the disabled list since July 28. … Milwaukee Brewers outfielders Corey Hart (sore back) and Ryan Braun (sore wrist) were out of the starting lineup again for the second consecutive game against Arizona.

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