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LaRue suffers slight concussion in melee

LaRue suffers slight concussion in melee

CINCINNATI -- Jason LaRue suffered what Cardinals manager Tony La Russa called a slight concussion during a benches-clearing incident in Tuesday night's 8-4 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Pitcher Chris Carpenter also got scraped up in the imbroglio, as both men were kicked by Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto.

"We're facing an issue with Jason," La Russa said. "He got clobbered in the head with their starting pitcher kicking. So he has a slight concussion and he has some facial tears there, and his and Carp's bodies [have abrasions]. We'll see how that's all handled."

LaRue appeared to be in good spirits after the game, but declined to give interviews. But Carpenter, one of his best friends on the team, didn't mince words. Carpenter was pushed into the screen behind home plate as the mess escalated.

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"Me and [Reds manager Dusty Baker] exchanged words, and then the next thing I know, I was in the net with somebody kicking me in the back, from behind, where I was held down," Carpenter said. "Nobody was doing anything. I wasn't throwing any punches. Nobody was throwing any punches. We had some guy kicking me in the back who ends up kicking my backup catcher and splits his face open. When you see [LaRue], you'll see he could have done some real damage. [Cueto] got him in the side of the eye, got him in his nose, got him in his face. Totally unprofessional. Unbelievable. I haven't seen anything like that."

Carpenter had numerous abrasions on his back and his right arm, but said that he would be fine. LaRue had fewer marks on his body, but his face showed telltale signs of having been kicked, most notably a cut on his upper lip.

Cueto was also against the screen, and explained that that's why he was kicking.

"I was trying to go in and trying to break people off," Cueto said through teammate Ramon Hernandez. "As soon as I knew it, I had like 20 people pushing me all over to the net. I already had my back to the net with my feet up."

If the Cardinals need to make a move with LaRue, it will be almost impossible to have a player in Cincinnati in time for Wednesday's game. Triple-A Memphis had a night game in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday night, while Wednesday's Reds game starts at 12:35 p.m. ET.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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