Desmond-Saltalamacchia confrontation clears both benches and bullpens in Nats-Marlins game

The Associated Press

Home plate umpire Marty Foster, center, separates Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond, left, from Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, right, during the fourth inning of the MLB National League baseball game, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Miami. Desmond had words with Saltalamacchia after the Miami Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler threw a close pitch. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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MIAMI (AP) — Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and Miami Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia got into a heated, nose-to-nose conversation at home plate, prompting both benches to clear during the fourth inning.

With the Nationals trailing 6-0 Tuesday night, Desmond became annoyed when he barely avoided being hit by an inside pitch from Tom Koehler. Desmond hollered at Koehler and spat toward the mound. Saltalamacchia then said something to the hitter, and their testy exchange began.

Umpire Marty Foster stepped between them. Both benches and bullpens emptied, but the confrontation didn't escalate. Foster issued a warning to both teams.

Desmond popped out, and when he returned to the dugout he threw his helmet against the wall.

There were no further incidents in the game, which the Marlins won 11-2 to break an eight-game losing streak.

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