Johnny Cueto faced the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday for a third time this season. The San Francisco Giants righty went 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in the previous outings. Cueto had excelled in working himself out of multiple jams to limit damage.
He quickly fell behind in the three-game series finale at AT&T Park. Yasmani Grandal pulled a pitch low and inside off the right-field wall for a two-out, two-run double. Cueto then began to shout in Grandal’s direction as he took a lead off second base.
The two briefly exchanged words. It would not finish as their first dustup on the afternoon. Cueto threw a ball up and in, near Grandal’s chin, in the third inning.
Chase Utley scored on the wild pitch. Grandal flied out, then jawed with Cueto, which led to both benches clearing.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Cueto believed the Dodgers were stealing signs:
“I’m not going to use that as an excuse but they were relaying signs,” Cueto claimed through an interpreter after the game.
The allegation surprised Grandal, who explained his side of the fracas added the matter was quickly resolved:
“That’s what he mentioned,” Grandal said of sign-stealing accusations. “It really caught me by surprise. I’m on second pretty much trying to get a walking lead because I’m slow so I’ve got to keep on moving. I guess he thought me trying to do that I was giving out signs.
“We talked about it. We apologized to each other,” Grandal said. “We’re on good terms now, so let’s not make it a bigger deal than it is.”
Grandal finished the afternoon 1-for-4 with two RBI. Cueto allowed five runs on eight hits, and had six strikeouts over six innings.
The Dodgers avoided being swept in the series, and are 4-6 through their first 10 games against the Giants this season. The rivals won’t meet again until Friday, July 28, for the start of a three-game set at Dodger Stadium.