The frustration finally got to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners.
Trenidad Hubbard had a career-high five RBI as the Dodgers ended baseball's most disappointing first half with a fight-marred, 14-3 victory over the Mariners on Sunday.
"That whole thing was just frustration talking -- their side, our side, it just bubbled over," Hubbard said of the 15-minute melee that resulted in seven ejections and a separated shoulder for Seattle third baseman Charles Gipson.
Eric Karros and Angel Pena hit two-run homers for the Dodgers, who completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners. Despite that, Los Angeles enters the All-Star break with a 39-47 record, last in the NL West and 10 games behind division leader San Francisco.
The Mariners' five-game losing streak has dropped them to 42-45, six games behind AL West-leading Texas.
"We haven't been playing real good the last five games and there was a lot of frustration out there," said losing pitcher Jeff Fassero. "Stuff happens. Guys start yelling at each other, and something like this is going to happen when you start doing that."
After Hubbard's three-run double off Frankie Rodriguez gave the Dodgers a 12-3 lead in the sixth, Rodriguez triggered the brawl with a brushback pitch at Mark Grudzielanek.
"The pitch was pretty high, it upset me a little bit, and we had some words with each other," said Grudzielanek, who had a career-high four RBI on Saturday night. "It surprised me when he motioned at me to come out there, then he just started saying some pretty vulgar things."
The dugouts and bullpens emptied, and fights broke out as the brawl spilled over toward the warning track in front of the Mariners' dugout.
Order was restored, but the benches emptied again when Dodgers catcher Todd Hundley shouted oward the mound and made a gesture before Rodriguez started his warmup throws.
No punches were thrown in the second incident, but Dodgers catcher Angel Pena injured his left arm in the fighting and was replaced by Hubbard, who had been in left field. It was Hubbard's major league debut behind the plate.
Mariners relievers Damaso Marte, Jose Mesa and Jose Paniagua were ejected along with Seattle outfielder Jay Buhner, who is on the disabled list. Hundley was ejected along with Dodgers teammate Pedro Borbon and bullpen coach Rick Dempsey.
The tensions between the teams started Friday night, when Dodgers pitcher Ismael Valdes hit Alex Rodriguez and Russ Davis early in the game and Seattle's Freddie Garcia retaliated both times by hitting LA's leadoff batter the next inning.
"That's Seattle baseball. That's the way they play," said Borbon, who rushed in from the bullpen to join the fight. "That's the way (manager) Lou Piniella plays. If you hit my shortstop, I'm going hit your shortstop. If you hit my third baseman, I'm going to hit your third baseman. Sometimes, I feel that the league should go after him instead of going after the players."
Darren Dreifort (6-9), who had lost his previous three decisions, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings, including Ken Griffey Jr.'s 29th homer.
Dreifort struck out seven and hit a two-run double, helping the Dodgers score their most runs this season and stretch their winning streak to four. Onan Masaoka pitched one-hit ball over the last four innings for his first major league save.
The Dodgers scored in each of the first five innings, building a 14-3 lead against a pitching staff whose 6.01 ERA is the second-highest in the majors behind Colorado.
With the score tied at 3, Fassero (4-9) walked Adrian Beltre with two outs in the third. Pena then hit his first career homer at Dodger Stadium, a drive to left-center that put Los Angeles ahead to stay at 5-3.
Eric Young led off the fourth with a double over the head of left fielder Brian Hunter and scored on Hubbard's single, which chased Fassero.
Hubbard was credited with an unusual sacrifice fly during a three-run fifth. Shortstop Alex Rodriguez, battling the sun on a popup, fell backward after catching the ball and his throw toward the plate ricocheted high off the back slope of the mound as Pena scored easily. Grudzielanek and Devon White added RBI singles for a 9-3 cushion.
Fassero gave up six runs and eight hits in three-plus innings after pitching eight scoreless innings last Monday at Anaheim.
- Jamie Moyer will start Thursday against San Diego in the Mariners' inaugural game at Safeco Field. Andy Ashby will start for the Padres.
- The 28 homers given up by Fassero are two short of the major league record for the most allowed before the All-Star break, set in 1986 by Minnesota's BerBlyleven and matched by Blyleven in 1987.
- Griffey has six fewer home runs than at last season's break but two more RBI for a total of 81.
- After going 9-for-12 with four home runs in Anaheim, Rodriguez went 0-for-9 with four strikeouts in this series.
- The Dodgers have a losing record at the All-Star break for the ninth time since division play began in 1969. The only time they rallied to earn a postseason berth was the strike-delayed 1995 season, when they won the NL West with a 78-66 mark.
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