Pratt-Gonzalez incident empties benches

Updated: April 22, 2004, 2:27 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies haven't had any success beating the Florida Marlins lately. So they tried beating them up.

Phillies catcher Todd Pratt and Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez were ejected from Thursday's game after starting a bench-clearing incident in the second inning.

After Mike Redmond homered off Brett Myers, the next pitch to Gonzalez was high and inside. Gonzalez took a step toward the mound and pointed at Myers.

Pratt quickly stepped in and exchanged words with Gonzalez. Pratt then threw a right cross at Gonzalez after he swatted his hand at Pratt.

Both benches cleared as Pratt, in a boxing stance, threw several punches. Mild-mannered Phillies third baseman David Bell was thrown hard to the ground by a Marlins player.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa came out to talk with the umpires after Pratt was ejected.

Myers hit Miguel Cabrera in the side with a fastball in the first inning. Marlins pitcher Darren Oliver didn't retaliate against Philadelphia's first hitter the next inning, Jim Thome. Thome, Pat Burrell and Bell hit consecutive singles on Oliver's first three pitches after the brawl.

The Marlins were seeking their third straight three-game sweep over the Phillies, and second this season. Florida came in having won 17 of the last 19 games against the Phillies, who blew a slim wild-card lead over the Marlins down the stretch last season.

Florida beat the Phillies 8-7 in 12 innings Wednesday night.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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