PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jared Hughes, who was accused to making racial comments after an on-field exchange on Monday night with Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds, released this statement on Wednesday through the Pirates Media Relations department.
"In response to Brandon Phillips' TV interview yesterday prior to the game, I feel compelled to once again make it perfectly clear that I did not make any comment with a racial undertone or connotation during our exchange on Monday night, period. While I cannot repeat everything that I said because I did swear, it is obvious when reviewing the tape that I in no way, shape or form made any remark that was in any way connected to race. It is not how I was raised and not who I am as a person."
The Pirates, who fell to the Reds Tuesday night, have lost five in a row and 22 out of 31, falling out of contention in the NL Central. They trail the Reds by a season-high 13 games.
The deep slump also has left them at risk of extending their unmatched streak of futility. The Pirates haven't had a winning record for the last 19 seasons, a record for a North American pro team. The loss on Tuesday dropped them to 72-69.
The Pirates and Reds conclude a 3-game series Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.