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Carlos Quentin survives, even thrives in return to Los Angeles

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

LOS ANGELES -- Carlos Quentin stepped into the viper pit for the first time since knocking Zack Greinke out of commission for nearly two months ... and the viper pit didn't bite.

Oh, Quentin was roundly booed.

But that was it.

No beanballs. No brushback pitches. Had you walked into Dodger Stadium without knowledge of the brawl in April, you would never have known from watching Dodgers starter Ted Lilly and the bullpen work Quentin.

And Quentin worked over the Dodgers, going 3 for 5 with a solo home run in the seventh during the Padres' 9-7 loss.

Neither team was warned by the umpiring crew at the outset of the series, and both managers played down recent history.

“The game is always bigger than these isolated events,” Padres manager Bud Black said.

“I don't anticipate anything,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before the game. “He gets hit a lot. If he gets hit, he gets hit.

“I don't mean that in a bad way, but it's the way you have to pitch to him. I don't really want to stir it back up.”

That was in reference to Quentin leading the majors in getting hit by pitches in each of the past two seasons.

Quentin sat out Monday's series opener after banging into the wall at Petco Park making a catch against the Blue Jays over the weekend.

He was back in the lineup as San Diego's cleanup hitter on Tuesday, but even during batting practice, the few fans arriving early to Dodger Stadium didn't pay special attention to him.

Someone asked about San Diego fans wanting Greinke to bat against the Padres, which didn't make a ton of sense given that you would think anybody in Quentin's corner would already see that Greinke's pound of flesh has been extracted.

Nevertheless, Mattingly rolled with it, delivering this memorable quip: “Crazy San Diego. They are always wanting to start fights in San Diego. It's a rough place, with the beaches, and sometimes it gets up to 75.

"I really don't think it's that big of an issue."

Besides, Quentin and Greinke have talked since the incident and, between the two of them at least, it appears to be over with.

"It just doesn't feel like an issue," Mattingly said.

 
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