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06/14/12 1:45 AM ET

Lowe blames Reds skipper for brushback

Indians righty claims Baker ordered Latos' inside fastball

CINCINNATI -- Indians starter Derek Lowe had some harsh words for Reds manager Dusty Baker after being brushed back by a fastball from Reds right-hander Mat Latos in the fifth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Reds on Wednesday night.

After the game, Lowe insinuated that Baker has been instructing his pitchers to throw at him for the past five seasons due to a grudge that dates to Lowe's final year with the Dodgers in 2008.

"Dusty will deny it," Lowe said. "I have zero respect for the guy -- not that it matters. I imagine he'd say the same about me."

The 39-year-old Cleveland starter hinted at an incident that was never made public during his time in Los Angeles, but he was not willing to offer up specific details. How Baker fits into that alleged incident is not known. Efforts to reach the Reds manager after Lowe's comments to the media were unsuccessful.

After watching Latos' 96-mph fastball buzz him, Lowe motioned toward Cincinnati's dugout and barked at Baker. Lowe wanted to make it clear that he had no problem with Latos. In his opinion, the inside fastball was called by Baker.

"You can go ask him. He'll deny it like he has no idea," Lowe said of Baker. "To say it didn't come from Dusty ... Mat Latos was with the San Diego Padres the last four years, he has no idea what's going on. Again, you can ask him and he'll say he doesn't know [anything] about it, like he always does.

"This goes back to my last year with the Dodgers. ... You can go ask [Baker] right now, and he'll say he has no idea what you're talking about. But just watch the game. Mat Latos has nothing to do with anything that has gone on. How would he know? Why in the [world] would you throw a 96 mph fastball, first pitch, inside to a pitcher? Ask him."

In the bottom of the fifth, Lowe hit Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips on the left arm with his first pitch and home-plate umpire Paul Nauert issued a warning to both clubs.

Lowe said the origin of his issue with Baker was never made public, but that "a lot of people knew about it."

"They've been trying to do this for years," Lowe said of Baker, "but I always came up with men on base. It's the first time it came up with no one on base. That's why I was pointing at him, because I knew why it happened. He shook his finger like he had nothing to do with it. I guess Mat Latos just figured he'd hit me to lead off the fifth inning on his own."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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