08/04/08 11:52 PM ET
Tempers flare as Brewers fall to Reds
Fielder, Parra scuffle in the dugout during loss in Cincinnati
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
"I stopped making pitches," he said.
It was not so clear what happened to Parra in the dugout.
"I'm not too concerned about it," he offered, but little else.
Parra scuffled for outs in the fifth and sixth innings, then literally scuffled in the seventh with an angry Prince Fielder in a 6-3 loss to the Reds on Monday that will be remembered more for another dugout dustup than for the Brewers' continuing inability to get a clutch hit.
After Parra (9-5) surrendered six runs in a two-inning span, he and Fielder had words near the bat rack as the Brewers prepared to bat in the top of the seventh inning. Fielder, who may have been upset that Parra was heading toward the clubhouse, twice violently shoved Parra to the bench, hitting him once on the right shoulder and then near the face before teammates pulled the 270-pound slugger away.
Brewers manager Ned Yost kept the clubhouse doors closed for a few extra minutes after the game. He declined to go into detail about the altercation.
"It's not a big deal," said Yost, who said he grew up watching the combative Oakland A's of the 1970s. "For eight months a year, we're a family, and at times things happen. Tempers flare up. But it's within the family and it's a little bit rude when your neighbors are fighting next door, for you to go over and ask what happened. That's kind of the case here. It's nobody's business what happened."
Yost hinted that discipline was in order, but declined to go into detail. Fielder, through a club spokesperson, refused to answer questions about the incident. Parra talked about it only in passing.
"It's already taken care of," Parra said. "Nothing needs to be talked about."
Physically, Parra was fine.
"I just want to focus on my next start," he said.
Parra had been cruising into the fifth, when Jolbert Cabrera's one-out single over second base marked the Reds' first hit. Parra walked the next two batters to load the bases for opposing pitcher Bronson Arroyo (10-8), who worked ahead in the count, 2-0, and forced Parra to pipe three consecutive strikes. Arroyo pulled the third for a two-run double to left field.
Two batters later, Joey Votto hit a two-run, two-out single past Fielder, who made a diving attempt. According to one player, that play had nothing to do with the argument.
In the sixth, Parra issued a two-out walk to Cabrera and then a two-run home run to Jay Bruce.
"Walks kill you," said Parra, who was charged with six runs and four hits while losing his third straight start. "I'm frustrated right now. I know I'll be fine. I've been through it once this year and it's not going to continue. It will turn around."
"I don't think that he loses focus, but this definitely has been a trend at times," Yost said. "He'll be lights out and then all of a sudden, just kind of hit a wall."
Brewers hitters appear to have hit their wall at some point after the All-Star break. On Monday, they were a woeful 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position -- Corey Hart's sixth-inning RBI single was the lone hit -- and it was actually an improvement.
The Brewers are 10-for-104 with runners in scoring position over their last 13 games. Braun and Mike Cameron accounted for the other two runs on Monday with solo home runs.
"We're at the point of the season where we can't afford to have this go on for a prolonged period of time," said Braun, who reached the 30-homer plateau for the second straight season. "We have to figure it out, and figure it out quick. Like, now."
Yost did not have any answers for his team's recent slump. And he chose not to provide any answers for Monday's skirmish.
"There's a privacy issue here somewhere," Yost said. "Just because it's on TV doesn't make it anybody's right to know what happened. It's between us, and that's what counts. Us, going out together as a team and winning baseball games.
"If you want to know what happened, what transpired, blow-by-blow, what words were said, I'm sorry. You're not going to know."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.