CLEVELAND -- After watching Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie hit his third batter of the afternoon on Wednesday, Indians manager Terry Francona had seen enough.
In the fifth inning of Cleveland's 12-1 win over Kansas City, Francona emerged from the home dugout and got into a heated exchange with home-plate umpire Tom Woodring, resulting in the manager's third ejection of the season. The argument came immediately after Indians outfielder Michael Brantley was hit by a pitch from Guthrie, who received a warning from Woodring earlier in the game.
According to Francona, Woodring said Guthrie did not hit Brantley intentionally.
"I'm not sure how you can do that," Francona said.
Guthrie hit Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes with a pitch with the bases loaded in the first inning and later hit Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis with a pitch in the second. Kipnis exchanged words with Guthrie briefly before flipping his gear away and taking his base. Woodring's warning to both clubs came after that hit-by-pitch of Kipnis.
Francona said he felt Guthrie should have been ejected after hitting Brantley.
"That's pretty obvious, isn't it?" Francona said. "I just thought that the umpire, when he puts [the warning] out there, then for him to tell me, 'No, [it wasn't intentional].' He stated it as fact. I didn't think that was appropriate. And then, I think they protect the younger umpires. If he's old enough to throw me out, he's old enough to listen to what I have to say."
The three hit batsmen came after the Indians hit one batter in each of the previous two games against the Royals. Tribe righty Cody Anderson received a warning on Monday night after hitting Jarrod Dyson, following a home run to Omar Infante. On Tuesday night, Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer hit Kendrys Morales with a pitch as well.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.