SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andy Green’s first ejection as a big league skipper gave Mark McGwire his first chance to manage.
Wil Myers and Derek Norris hit two-run homers and Adam Rosales added a solo shot for the San Diego Padres, who rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Tuesday night.
Green was tossed for arguing after a sequence in which Andrew McCutchen was awarded home on a balk by Colin Rea, and then the umpires twice reversed their call, eventually giving the Pirates the run. McGwire came out to lead Green off the field.
“As long as I’ve been around I don’t think I’ve seen a reverse of a reversal. I think that’s where the frustration was on my part,” Green said.
McCutchen was on third base with Francisco Cervelli batting with two outs in the third. McCutchen broke for home while Rea (1-1) was in his windup. Rea was called for a balk when he took his right foot off the rubber, and McCutchen scored. The four umpires huddled and reversed their call and McCutchen was sent back to third. After Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came out to argue, the umps huddled again and once again awarded McCutchen home, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
Green came out to argue and was tossed. He threw down his cap and pointed at each of the umpires before McGwire led him off the field.
“I was genuinely outraged at the chain of events that occurred, as they occurred,” Green said.
Green said Hurdle should have been ejected for arguing a balk, but crew chief Brian Gorman said Hurdle was OK in doing so.
“It shouldn’t have even been his opportunity to have any other say at that point of time,” Green said. “First time they’re explaining the reversal, that’s fine; after that you’re arguing for a balk. That should be an automatic ejection on his part, not me getting ejected, so I had a beef on that part, too. Couple that with the fact the feeling was they reversed it based on his input coming back out, I’m guessing after talking to his video guy, which it’s not reviewable, the way it all played out right there, I’ll let somebody else draw their own conclusion. It’s not the way it’s supposed to play out.”
Said McGwire: “It didn’t help that we played it on the video scoreboard.”
Hurdle said there were two different conversations.
“The first time it was all about, ‘You can speed up the delivery out of the windup, not the stretch,’ and I said, ‘Well, I get that, because there’s plenty of guys in the last couple of years that’ve done that, quick pitch.’ And then I said, ‘But there’s disengagement from the rubber. Hate to say it but it was clearly evident on the big screen. And I went back and said, ‘That’s a balk,’ and I just got back and said,’ Nah, that’s not good enough, maybe you guys didn’t get the look you needed.’ I guess they rounded up gain and saw the disengagement from the rubber. It was very clear on the replay.”
Gorman said Rea was allowed to speed up his motion “but he can’t disengage the rubber. He kind of hopped, and that little hop was determined to be, that’s the balk part of the motion. … At first, we just thought he sped up his motion. So we didn’t talk about the hop. So that’s when we said it wasn’t a balk. Then Clint came out a second time and he said, ‘Wait a minute, he disengaged the rubber.’ So we had to huddle again because we didn’t discuss that the first time. During the second huddle, we said since he disengaged the rubber before he released the ball then we have to go with a balk there. That’s when Andy got a little heated.”
Gorman said managers “can’t argue a step balk call, like a step to first, but you can argue all the other kinds of balks.”
McGwire, baseball’s one-time single-season home run king, was hired as Green’s bench coach in December.
McGwire managed three games during spring training, all losses, when a split squad went to Mexico City for two games against Houston.
With the Padres trailing 3-0, Myers hit a two-run homer to left with two outs in the fourth, his third. Norris gave the Padres a 4-3 lead with his two-run shot to straightaway center with one out in the fifth, his first. Both were off Francisco Liriano (1-1).
After Norris’ homer, Arquimedes Caminero came on and allowed Rosales’ homer that bounced off the top of the facade of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left field corner. It was his first.
“They took some good swings. Clearly when Mark McGwire is managing, they hit home runs,” Green quipped.
David Freese and Liriano hit RBI singles for the Pirates.
Rea allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings, struck out six and walked one. Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
Liriano allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, walked five and struck out four.
McGwire went 1 for 2 on challenges.