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Strop denies intent behind pitch near Montero

Strop denies intent behind pitch near Montero

CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Pedro Strop said there was no intent in his ninth-inning pitch that wound up behind D-backs catcher Miguel Montero.

With the game in hand, two outs and no one on, Strop uncorked a pitch that bounced behind Montero's feet.

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Home-plate umpire D.J. Reyburn issued warnings to both dugouts and after the Cubs' 5-1 win over the D-backs, Montero said the pitch looked as though it were on purpose.

"Well, obviously two outs, nobody on, down by four and he throws it like that to me?" Montero said at the time. "It's a little shady, you know. Don't you agree? I don't know what it's all about."

Turns out, it was all a big misunderstanding.

"It wasn't on purpose," Strop said. "I was trying to come in. I just pulled that ball too much. I think he was kind of surprised. He gave me a dirty look and I just gave it back to him."

When told Tuesday what Strop said, Montero seemed to accept the explanation and it did not appear that the incident would carry over.

"We're in a battle right there -- he's fighting for his team, and I'm fighting for my team," Strop said. "He thought it was on purpose and he gave me that look and I gave it back. I think it's over -- hopefully, it's over. We don't want to get in a fight or anything like that. We just want to play the game the way we're supposed to play it."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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