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Ortiz apologizes for late-game fracas

July 9, 2011

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BOSTON—Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz apologized Saturday for charging and swinging at Orioles pitcher Kevin Gregg.

Ortiz said wasn't proud of his actions in the eighth inning of Boston's 10-3 win over Baltimore on Friday night. He apologized to everyone, including Gregg.

"I haven't had a fight since I was in kindergarten," he said with a smile. "That's not what the fans want to see. That's not part of my personality. I don't like being caught in a situation like that."

Gregg threw two inside pitches to Ortiz, who started to the mound as benches and bullpens cleared without any punches. Ortiz then flied out and Gregg shouted at him, prompting him to charge the right-hander. Both were ejected.

"Nobody wants to see it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Saturday night's third game of a four-game series. "It's a passionate game, with passionate people who care."

Asked if he expected to get suspended, Ortiz said he knows major league baseball is going to take action for the confrontation, but "I wasn't the one that started it."

When he got home from the game, "I didn't feel good about how that thing happened," he said. "I apologize to everyone for the situation. I have a lot of friends on that ballclub. Even to Gregg. I don't really know him but he doesn't seem like the kind of guy that acts like that. I'm not happy about it. That's not what people come to see."

Baltimore, with the second worst record in the AL, fell behind 8-0 after one inning in the game. Ortiz drove in three of those runs with a homer.

"You're wounded and you fight back," Showalter said. "You feel that way since spring training. You're a family."

Ortiz didn't speak with reporters Friday night, but Gregg defended his actions right after the game.

"I think you show them that we're not backing down. We're not scared of them -- them and their $180 million payroll," he said. "We have just as much right to play the game here and we're going to do everything we can to win."

Ortiz said he wouldn't try to talk with Gregg.

"Why should I?" he said. "It's over. I've put that behind me."

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