Benches clear as Madison Bumgarner, Yasiel Puig lose cool

— -- The benches emptied in another epic battle Monday night between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers and team aces Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw.

The confrontation started when Bumgarner fielded a ground ball by the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig and fired to first for the third out of the seventh inning of the Dodgers' 2-1 win.

Bumgarner emphatically shouted, apparently celebrating the final out. But it appeared Puig thought Bumgarner was shouting at him, leading the two to then exchange words and the benches to clear.

No punches were thrown.

"I don't know what happened there. Puig didn't do anything," said first baseman  Adrian Gonzalez in a postgame interview on the Dodgers' broadcast after he lined a game-winning double to right field in the ninth inning.

Monday continued a tradition of sorts between Bumgarner and Puig. It was at least the third time they've exchanged heated words on the field, though the first since September 2014.

In May 2014, after Puig hit a 431-foot home run to center field and flipped his bat, Bumgarner took exception and waited for Puig as he rounded third base. The two exchanged some words.

Then more than four months later, on Sept. 23, Puig made a move toward the mound after being hit by Bumgarner. More words were exchanged before the benches cleared, bullpens emptied and Puig had to be held back by the ump and various teammates.

Bumgarner didn't return for the eighth, having limited the Dodgers to one hit in seven shutout innings with no walks and 10 strikeouts and the only one man reaching base off him being Puig with a second-inning double. Kershaw gave up just one unearned run in six innings, in just his third outing since coming off the 60-day disabled list.

"It's good that we won, partly because of that," Gonzalez said of Monday's bench-clearing incident. "(Puig) was just playing baseball. He didn't do anything. That's something that Madison's got to do a better job of just getting into the dugout."