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Baker addresses Garza's criticism of Cueto

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CINCINNATI -- In the sixth inning of Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto threw a pitch high over the head of David DeJesus. Home-plate umpire Bob Davidson warned both benches, play moved on and Chicago went on to win, 5-4, in 10 innings without incident.

After the game, though, Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza took exception to the pitch and sent his own warning to Cueto.

"I took total disrespect out of that," Garza said. "[DeJesus] has never done anything wrong, he just plays the game the right way. If Cueto has any problem, he can throw at me, and I'll definitely return the favor. I didn't like that one bit. We don't retaliate. We take it game by game. Hopefully, he learns to grow the [heck] up. That's totally uncalled for."

Reds manager Dusty Baker wasn't aware of what Garza said until Monday morning, and his reaction after hearing about it was simple:

"Take care of it then," Baker said. "I mean, [Cueto] couldn't hit Wilt Chamberlain with that pitch."

Baker had not talked to Cueto about what happened, and the 27-year-old right-hander wasn't available for comment after Sunday's game or before Monday's game vs. the Indians. Cueto appeared annoyed in the first inning when DeJesus repeatedly stepped out of the box between pitches, but Baker said he didn't think there was any bad blood between anyone involved.

The pitch occurred with the Reds holding on to a 4-0 lead and after Garza had been chased from the game.

"Would [Garza] have been as upset if he got the win instead of potentially get a loss?" Baker said. "You got something to say, you go over there and tell him. Johnny ain't running. Know what I mean? A guy can say what he wants to say, but it's better if you go over and say it to his face.

"Can't be selling woof tickets. Somebody will buy them."

Baker said he came "from a different school" and didn't agree with the way Garza handled his frustrations.

"Guys didn't talk as much," Baker said about when he played. "You just did it. Guys are nicer now. They are. They all have the same agents, they all played on certain All-Star teams, they text each other, email each other. Nice game now.

"I just wish, put them in a room, let them box and let it be over with, know what I mean?" Baker said. "I always said this. Let it be like hockey. Let them fight, somebody hits the ground and then it'll be over with. I'm serious about that."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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