SAN DIEGO -- There was no debating the importance of Everth Cabrera's triple during the sixth inning on Sunday at PETCO Park, because it accounted for a very important run in what would become a 6-4 victory for the Padres over the Diamondbacks.
What was open for deliberation, though, was whether the Padres shortstop attempted to kick his way out of an entanglement with Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds, a play that led to the first ejection of Cabrera's career.
"I was just trying to get out of the entanglement," Cabrera said through an interpreter, first-base coach Rick Renteria. "I don't think I did anything wrong."
Reynolds saw it differently.
"He kicked me, kind of in the stomach with his foot," Reynolds said. "I had to defend myself."
Third-base umpire Dana DeMuth sided with Reynolds on the play that started with D-backs catcher Miguel Montero throwing Cabrera out as he attempted to retreat to the base.
"There was an entanglement. What I saw was Everth Cabrera kick ... a pretty aggressive kick," DeMuth said. "Reynolds actually pushed Cabrera away, when he was doing it he said, 'You can't do that.' Cabrera's aggressiveness was unnecessary."
The umpires conferred briefly before Cabrera was ejected, much to the chagrin of his manager, Bud Black.
"I was shocked that Everth got thrown out," Black said. "Dana saw, in his words, Everth flagrantly kick Reynolds. In looking at the replay. I saw a couple of players tangled up in an emotional game, playing hard."
Cabrera's RBI triple followed a single by Chris Denorfia and gave the Padres a 4-3 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.