"He put a knee onto second base," Cabrera said. "I've played both sides, second and short, and I know that's not fair to put a knee on the base."
Cooler heads prevailed quickly. The tiff was over in seconds and Cabrera was safe at second. A replay review confirmed the call, and while the umpires waited for the decision, Rosales approached Cabrera to make amends.
"We both play the game hard," Rosales said. "I wanted to get an out and he was trying to get back to the bag. I'm just glad he is all right and didn't have to come out of the game."
It all started after Cabrera doubled with one out in the fourth against Rangers starter Ross Detwiler. With Tim Beckham at the plate, Detwiler missed with his first pitch and catcher Robinson Chirinos fired down to second base on a pick-off attempt.
Cabrera dove back with his right hand, which appeared to get jammed into either the base or Rosales' knee, and he was called safe. Rosales, after making the tag, also seemed to get off balance, and there was some jostling with Cabrera as both tried to get up. Cabrera appeared to be unhappy with Rosales, and he pushed the second baseman away with a forearm as he got to his feet.
Second-base umpire Dana DeMuth got between the two immediately as both teams rushed to the field, but the altercation was over pretty quickly. Cabrera had his hand tended to by Rays trainer Ron Porterfield and the Rangers challenged the call on the field.
During the replay review, Rosales went over to talk to Cabrera. The two talked for a minute in a friendly manner and call was upheld.
"He came to me and started apologizing," Cabrera said. "I know, and I hope he didn't do it on purpose. That happens in games."
"A little bit of an awkward play," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "[Cabrera] goes back hard. I think it was more holding the tag, and both guys had momentum going into each other. But the way they handled it, after the fact, it was squashed. So I thought both clubs did a good job of handling it."
There were no ejections.
"That's how I respect the game," Rosales said. "All I'm trying to do is win and play hard. I wanted to make sure he's all right and let him know it's not my intention to hurt him. I'm just playing the game hard."
The Rangers challenged the call on the possibility Cabrera may have come off the bag at some point. But the safe call was upheld, as DeMuth told Rangers manager Jeff Banister that he called time out quickly when the two players started jostling with each other.
"[DeMuth] said that immediately negated [Cabrera] coming off the bag," Banister said.
Beckham then hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who flipped to Rosales, and Cabrera was tagged out without incident. Detwiler ended up picking off Beckham to end the inning.