CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox rookie slugger Ron Kittle, like his teammates, was not in a laughing mood Friday night after the Baltimore Orioles pounded Chicago 11-1 in the third game of the American League Championship series.
'I'm not up there to get hit and laugh it off,' said Kittle, who was forced to leave the game after being hit with a Mike Flanagan pitch in the fourth inning. 'They (Orioles) made a big deal on how they only hit seven guys all year. Now they've hit three of us in three days.'
Kittle took a menacing step toward Flanagan and shouted at the Baltimore pitcher in a bench-clearing incident. Both benches emptied again in the fifth when Sox starter Richard Dotson brushed back Eddie Murray after hitting Cal Ripken to start the inning.
'After Kittle was hit, we talked it over in the dugout -- who was the most likely candidate to hit,' Dotson said. 'We decided on Ripken because he stands so close to the plate.
'On Murray, we were just trying to pitch him tight. You have to expect that if you play that game.'
Bad blood between the two clubs has existed since mid-August, when Sox Manager Tony LaRussa chastised the Orioles for complaining to umpires too often.
'That was the last thing I wanted to do,' said Flanagan, when asked if he was trying to hit Kittle.
'When he (Kittle) got hit, he started to make a comment to Flanagan and then started writhing in pain, and he seemed to lose his head and charge the mound to make further comments,' said home plate umpire Nick Bremigan, who warned both benches after the Murray brush-back.
'I didn't think Flanagan was throwing at Kittle,' Bremigan said. 'It was a 3-2 pitch and I know he doesn't want to put the leadoff batter on in any case, and I know from my experience there's never been any bad blood between Flanagan and Kittle.
Kittle, who was limping after the game, said he didn't know if he'd be able to play Saturday when the two teams meet for Game 4. The Orioles lead the best-of-five series two games to one.
Kittle would not reveal what he said to Flanagan.
'You couldn't print it,' he said.