Ortiz, Gregg throw punches (updated)

David Ortiz and Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg exchanged punches in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Finally, a little excitement.

Ortiz started it. Gregg wasn’t going to let him end it.

Ortiz took exception to an inside pitch from Gregg earlier in the at-bat and started walking toward the mound. Ortiz pointed at Gregg as both dugouts and bullpens emptied. Gregg moved toward Ortiz and jawed at him with each step.

Once order was restored, Ortiz flied to center field on the next pitch and began trotting to first base instead of striking a pose like he did on the home run earlier tonight. Gregg motioned to Ortiz with his glove, as if directing him to the bag, and drew an immediate ejection from the plate umpire. Ortiz made a quick turn and charged the reliever.gregg ortiz fight.jpg

Memo to Gregg: If you’re going to throw punches, take off your glove.

Jim Johnson also was ejected, but only because Alan Mills couldn’t get a flight to Boston.

Josh Reddick tagged up on the fly ball, but he never touched the plate. It’s one of the oddest double plays you’ll see.

Pedro Viola was warming up, but never had to throw a pitch. That’s probably a good thing, considering what happened to him last night.

Update: Gregg didn’t back down after the game, either. He told reporters that the best way to retire Ortiz is to pitch inside. That’s all he was trying to do.

“We have just as much of a right to pitch inside as they do,” he said.

Gregg pointed out that the Orioles aren’t afraid of the Red Sox, and he made a sarcastic reference to their $180 million payroll and their sense of entitlement.

“We’re not going to back down,” he said.

Kevin Gregg’s choice words about the Red Sox

Good for him. And good for his teammates, who gave Gregg their full support.

Down on the farm, Single-A Frederick pitcher Oliver Drake took a 22-inning scoreless innings streak into tonight’s game against Potomac. Drake tacked on eight more innings before Potomac scored once in the ninth.

Drake, the organization’s minor league Pitcher of the Month for June, improved to 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA.

Chris Tillman fell victim to the rain for the third time since reporting to Triple-A Norfolk. His start ended after two innings because of a lengthy delay. He allowed two hits, walked none and struck out three.

Josh Bell hit his 15th home run and drove in three runs, raising his RBI total to 45. He’s batting .260.

Nick Green hit his ninth homer. He’s driven in four runs, giving him 40 RBIs.

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