MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Twins reliever Tyler Duffey was ejected Tuesday night after throwing behind Chicago White Sox designated hitter Yermín Mercedes.
With one out in the seventh and the White Sox up 4-2, Mercedes came to the plate and Duffey threw the first pitch behind the slugger’s legs. Duffey and manager Rocco Baldelli then were ejected by plate umpire Jim Reynolds.
The Twins then rallied for a 5-4 victory.
“There were no warnings,” Baldelli said. “The umpires got together. They made a decision that, obviously, if they threw him out of the game, they made the decision that they thought it was intentional on Duff’s end. We were due to pitch Yermín, who’s been very good against us, in and crowd him some too. That’s the way it played out. They threw him out of the game and we have to live with that, but it doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.”
Mercedes had Minnesota’s attention after he homered in the ninth inning of Chicago’s 16-4 victory on Monday night, driving a 3-0 pitch from infielder Willians Astudillo deep to center. White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Mercedes made a mistake, and the Hall of Fame skipper apologized to the Twins.
“There’s one thing acknowledging it, and that’s appreciated, but it doesn’t quell all of the emotions from all the guys in the clubhouse, in and of itself,” Baldelli said before Tuesday’s game.
La Russa said he didn’t question whether Duffey’s pitch was intentional or not.
“The umpire does his job,” La Russa said. “We do our job. I don’t ever second-guess the umpire’s judgment. I’m sure he was watching and he reacted. I can see why he did it. I gave him my opinion. I didn’t have a problem with what the Twins did. But I don’t second-guess Jim Reynolds. He’s one of the better umpires out there. So, I trust his judgment and that’s what he did.”
There was no sign of any trouble before Duffey’s pitch in the seventh. Bailey Ober pitched four innings for Minnesota in his major league debut.
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