Reds, Pirates benches clear after Chris Archer throws behind Derek Dietrich

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The Reds-Pirates series finale got a little heated on Sunday afternoon when Pittsburgh right-hander Chris Archer threw behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich. The offending incident occurred in the second inning, when Dietrich spotted a 91.7-m.p.h. fastball from Archer and cranked a 436-foot, two-RBI home run all the way out of PNC Park — then took his sweet time admiring it before running the bases.

When Dietrich stepped up to the plate again in the fourth inning, Archer retaliated by throwing behind the batter. The benches quickly emptied and Yasiel Puig broke away from his teammates to take on the Pirates’ entire lineup, inspiring what may be the single greatest photo to come out of a dugout-clearing fracas:

Following the dust-up, Reds manager David Bell, right fielder Yasiel Puig, reliever Amir Garrett, and Pirates relief pitchers Keone Kela and Felipe Vázquez were ejected. It doesn’t appear as if any players were seriously harmed in the brawl, but any resulting suspensions have yet to be announced.

The Reds currently trail the Pirates 3-4 in the fifth.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.