Banister: Ejection of Claudio not warranted

Banister: Ejection of Claudio not warranted

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Alex Claudio was ejected from Friday's game by home-plate umpire Ben May after hitting Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre with a pitch.

It was the first pitch thrown by Claudio after coming into the game.The Rangers had already had two batters hit by pitches. Mariners starter Roenis Elias hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch in the fourth, and Tom Wilhelmsen plunked Ryan Rua in the sixth.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister wasn't happy with Claudio's ejection.

"We call it Spring Training," Banister said. "Guys are working and they are working hard. Claudio has to pitch inside, just like everybody else. The ball got away from him."

Banister, who had a friendly chat with Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon before the game, said he had no issues with the opposing pitchers' lack of command in certain situations.

"It's Spring Training," Banister said. "Not everybody's command is as [accurate] as you want it to be."

Claudio said he was trying to work on throwing his fastball inside on right-handed hitters. He has only hit nine batters in 259 innings in his Minor League career.

"It's the first time I have ever been ejected from a game," Claudio said.

Claudio is trying to make the team as a left-handed reliever and needs as much time on the mound as he can get. He entered the game having made five appearances in the Cactus League. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed one run on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Claudio had a 2.92 ERA in 15 games for the Rangers last season.

Worth noting 

• Outfield prospect Nomar Mazara, 19, came over from Minor League camp and started in right field for the Rangers because so many of their outfielders had made the trip to San Antonio. Mazara, rated the club's No. 3 prospect by, was 1-for-3 with a run scored and threw out a runner trying to score from second base on a single.

Jon Edwards and Shawn Tolleson each pitched two innings in relief Friday vs. Seattle. Both gave up a home run. It was the first run allowed by Edwards this spring.

Neftali Feliz made his third appearance in a Cactus League game when he pitched the ninth in a 4-4 game. Feliz gave up a two-out triple and a walk but got out of the inning, reaching 96 mph in the outing.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.