Benches empty after Pedro plunks Guillen – twice

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NEW YORK (AP) – Jose Guillen pointed his bat at Pedro Martinez and charged halfway to the mound after getting hit by a pitch for the second time in Thursday night’s game between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets.

Guillen was corralled by plate umpire Ted Barrett and Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca as the benches and bullpens emptied. Players ran onto the field quickly, but no punches were thrown.

Martinez, wild much of the 50-degree night, stood calmly on the mound as Carlos Delgado and other teammates rushed in front of him to provide protection. New York reserve Julio Franco walked Guillen to first base, and Washington pitcher Livan Hernandez also played peacemaker with Guillen and Martinez.

When Guillen got to the bag, Franco faced him with a hand on each shoulder, talking to him until Nationals manager Frank Robinson came over. Robinson then spent several minutes arguing with crew chief Rick Reed – Mets pitchers had hit five batters in the past two games at that point.

It was the third time in two nights Guillen was hit by a pitch. Martinez plunked him in the side in the third inning, and the right fielder walked slowly to first base.

Guillen has often been irritated by getting hit. In 2004 with Anaheim, he complained that Angels pitchers weren’t doing enough to protect him by brushing back opposing batters. He was hit by pitches 15 times that season, then 19 times last year – tied for most in the NL.

Martinez’s fifth-inning pitch grazed Guillen on the arm. That’s when he started toward the three-time Cy Young Award winner, who has never been shy about buzzing his share of batters.

Nick Johnson, plunked earlier in the game by Martinez, followed with a three-run homer that tied it at 5. Guillen clapped his hands enthusiastically as he rounded the bases.

Both starters threw inside all night. New York third baseman David Wright had to jackknife out of the way of Ramon Ortiz’s pitches a handful of times. Then he flipped his bat with satisfaction after lining an opposite-field single leading off the fourth.

Mets starter Brian Bannister hit Alfonso Soriano in the back of the helmet Wednesday night during his major league debut. Soriano was OK and stayed in the game.

Bannister also plunked Guillen.

Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez hit Johnson with a pitch in the seventh.

Slowed by a nagging toe injury, Martinez made his only two starts of spring training during the final week of March.

Barrett left before the seventh after getting hit in the throat by a foul ball. Reed moved from second base to the plate after a delay of about 15 minutes.

AP-ES-04-06-06 2143EDT

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