Perez came up to hit in the 2nd inning, and as expected, Padres RHP Ed Whitson threw at him, but missed. This resulted in Perez waving his bat first at Whitson, then at Padres catcher Terry Kennedy. Both benches emptied but no punches were thrown. Whitson then struck Perez out. Perez came up again in the 4th inning, and was thrown at again by Whitson. Once again, Whitson missed, but both he and Padres manager Dick Williams were ejected from the game. Williams brought in Greg Booker who also threw at Perez, but missed. Perez ended up drawing a walk.
Perez came up again in the 6th inning against Greg Booker. After a very inside pitch, Booker was ejected as well as acting manager Jack Krol. After Gene Harris relieved Booker, Perez grounded out for the first out in the inning. I found it amazing there was not a bigger brawl incited by the Padres continuing to throw at Perez prior to his 8th inning at bat. Whitson (twice) and Booker had all thrown at Perez and for the exception of the first time, Perez showed little reaction.
The 8th inning, of course, was highlighted by the first major fight of the game, as well as the first time in 4 ABs the Padres had success hitting Perez. LHP Craig Lefferts finally drilled Perez in the back, igniting a brawl that involved several players on both teams. Perez and Lefferts were ejected. The brawl involved Braves 1B Gerald Perry and Padres utility player Tim Flannery and Padres Champ Summers charging all the way across the field to try to get to Perez, who was in the Braves clubhouse. His path was blocked by Braves 1B Bob Horner, who was not on the Atlanta 25 man roster, serving time on the disabled list with a broken arm. Ejections involved Lefferts, Perez, Torre, Summers, San Diego OF Bobby Brown and Atlanta RHP Rick Mahler.
This is when the fans got involved. Some fans jumped on the field to defend Horner and started fighting with the Padres players. The final interesting point was that during the fight, Padres 3B Graig Nettles punched Braves RHP Donnie Moore, who had gone after Lefferts. Moore was sent in to pitch the top of the 9th inning and had to face Nettles to leadoff the inning. That set up the final brawl of the game as Moore nailed Nettles in the back and Nettles charging the mound. San Diego OF Kurt Bevacqua started throwing punches at every Braves player he saw. He eventually went into the stands (in what would now be considered a Ron Artest move) to go after a fan who threw beer on him. Nettles, Moore, Bevacqua, Braves acting manager Ozzie Virgil Sr., Braves RHP Steve Bedrosian, Flannery and Perry were all ejected at this time. Though Perry and Flannery had scrapped in the 8th inning, it escalated this time when Perry sucker punched Flannery during this altercation.
The Braves won the game 5-3. Though some consider the Padres the culprit in their relentless pursuit of hitting Perez, the Braves were equally at fault. First of all, Perez started it all when he hit Wiggins. The Braves could have kept this from being what it was had they just not let Perez hit in the 8th inning. But, they couldn't do it. Torre tops it all with this quote, "Dick Williams is an idiot," he said. "It was obvious he was the cause of the whole thing. Precipitating a thing like that was inexcusable. It was stupid of them, period, to take four shots at Perez. It was gutless. It stinks. It was Hitler-like action. I think he (Williams) should be suspended for the rest of the year." The league did come down the hardest on Williams, who was suspended 10 games. Torre was among others, including Perez, suspended for three games.