Olivo throws punch at Reyes, benches clear in Marlins-Mets fight

Updated: September 29, 2007, 3:45 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Florida catcher Miguel Olivo charged across the diamond and threw a punch at Jose Reyes, setting off a bench-clearing brawl between the Marlins and New York Mets on Saturday.

First, the teams spilled onto the field when Florida pitcher Harvey Garcia threw behind Luis Castillo in the fifth inning. Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson was incensed, pointing angrily toward the Marlins as the benches and bullpens emptied.

No punches were thrown, however, with both teams mostly just milling close to each other near home plate. Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera came down to settle former teammate Castillo, who had walked toward the mound with his arms spread wide and his bat in his hand.

After a brief delay, the game resumed. Castillo walked and Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to make a double switch.

It appeared Reyes, who was on third base, was jawing with Olivo, who was standing on the mound as the pitching change was made. Suddenly, Olivo charged at Reyes and took a swing that failed to connect.

Mets third base coach Sandy Alomar held off Olivo, and Cabrera grabbed hold of Reyes as both teams came pouring out onto the field. There was plenty of pushing and shoving -- New York backup catcher Mike DiFelice was in the middle of a heated scrum -- but it appeared no other punches were thrown.

Marlins coach Bo Porter pulled Reyes away from the tussle as the Shea Stadium crowd chanted "Jo-se, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jo-se, Jo-se!"

Olivo was ejected from the game. Reyes was not. He scored on David Wright's single, increasing New York's lead to 10-0.

After coughing up a big lead in the NL East, the Mets needed a win Saturday or a Phillies loss to avoid being eliminated from the postseason. They had lost five straight, eight in a row at home and 11 of 15 overall.

The Marlins might have been irritated that star shortstop Hanley Ramirez appeared to be hit by a pitch earlier in the game, though he wasn't awarded first base.

Ramirez writhed in pain after John Maine's pitch seemed to hit him on the left hand in the fourth inning, but plate umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled it a foul ball off the knob of the bat. Ramirez, the NL Rookie of the Year last season, knelt on the ground as he was checked by a trainer.

After a brief delay while he gathered himself, Ramirez struck out swinging on the next pitch and lost his grip on the bat, which sailed past third base into shallow left field.

X-rays on Ramirez's left hand were negative. He was replaced at shortstop in the bottom of the fourth by Robert Andino.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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