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Player Altercations Highlight Pittsburgh Pirates Struggles Since All-Star Break

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- More information has leaked to the public regarding the pair of Pirates player altercations from last month.

The Athletic's Rob Biertempfel reported the details Friday, shining more detail on incidents involving pitchers Keone Kela and Kyle Crick.

"I'd like to tell you that there's no problems (moving forward)," one Pirates player said, "but … I just don't know."

Biertempfel reports that Clint Hurdle needed to step in to break up the arguement between Kela and performance coach Hector Morales on July 21st. Kela then reportedly berated Hurdle in front of fellow players and staff members, which is rare to see according to the story. Kela was suspended two games for his actions. The 26-year-old would later be suspended 10 games by the MLB for admitting to throwing at the head of Cincinnati Reds batter Derek Dietrich, in a game that turned into an all-out brawl on the field late in the contest.

A week later, another suspension was dished out, but this time it was a staff member. Bullpen coach Euclides Rojas was involved in an altercation with reliever Kyle Crick before a game on the field. The two reportedly needed to be pulled away from each other to diffuse the situation. Crick reportedly complained to Rojas that fellow reliever Felipe Vazquez received preferential treatment ahead of the altercation.

The Pirates have lost 24 of the last 31 games, and have the second-worst record in the National League. The team takes on the Cubs in a three-game series this weekend, with the first two games set at PNC Park, and the Sunday matchup slated in Williamsport for the Little League Classic.

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