Friday, June 3, 2011

Upton, Heilman dismiss retaliation talk

By Anthony Fenech / | 06/03/11

PHOENIX -- Late in Thursday night's game, D-backs right fielder Justin Upton and Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth were plunked in back-to-back innings.

With the Nationals ahead 4-1, Upton was hit by left-handed reliever Sean Burnett in the left shoulder.

An inning later, Heilman hit Werth with a fastball in the left elbow and on Friday, both D-backs dismissed any sort of retaliation was involved.

"It was a coincidence," Upton said. "With two strikes, he obviously wasn't trying to hit me and I think one just got away from Aaron. There's nothing there."

Heilman, who allowed two runs on two hits in an inning's worth of work, said he had to work the inside half of the plate against Werth.

"He's a tough hitter," Heilman said. "You have to pitch him aggressively and pitch inside."

Werth was not in the lineup on Friday.

The right-handed reliever has been struggling of late and Kirk Gibson said it was a priority to get him back on track.

"I feel good," Heilman said. "Certainly last night I didn't get the results I wanted. It's a long season and I'll just keep grinding it out and battling it out."

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