SAN DIEGO -- The St. Louis and San Diego benches and bullpens emptied momentarily after Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols thought Will Venable threw an elbow while being tagged out to end the sixth inning on Sunday.
No punches were thrown and order was quickly restored.
Venable hit a slow grounder up the first-base line, Pujols fielded it and tagged him. Pujols then stared at Venable. Venable turned around and repeatedly said, "What?"
The benches and bullpens emptied, and Pujols and Venable had to be separated. Pujols raised his right elbow toward Venable, as if indicating the rookie had thrown his elbow.
"Last night he tried to run me over like he's playing freakin' football. A play like that you don't try to run people over," Pujols said. "Next time, if I would have known, I probably hit him in the face with the glove and tag him out there. He threw an elbow. He was out by a lot. It wasn't necessary, even to avoid a tag. Last night he jammed my wrist a little bit, and then tonight he tried to throw an elbow. That's pretty stupid."
Venable said it "was a whole lot of nothing."
"It was one of those plays where I have to go along my path to the bag," Venable said. "It's what I was taught to do, just run hard to the bag. He thought differently and decided to stand there and look at me and I just asked him what his problem was."
St. Louis went on to beat San Diego 5-2.