Hinch, Gomez tossed as frustrations boil over

Hinch, Gomez tossed as frustrations boil over

HOUSTON -- Missed opportunities, perceived strike-zone inequity and another frustrating late-inning loss boiled over in the Astros' 3-2 setback against the Mariners on Saturday night.

Manager A.J. Hinch and outfielder Carlos Gomez got ejected an inning apart, with both showing great displeasure with the umpires en route to their dismissal.

While Hinch's ejection came for arguing balls and strikes in the eighth inning, it was Gomez's blow-up between the ninth and 10th innings that brought the most heat.

According to Hinch and Gomez, the center fielder displayed dismay at a strike call to Jason Castro while in the dugout during the ninth inning, catching the ire of first-base umpire Jeff Nelson. Gomez said he uttered "C'mon" and threw his hands up, but emphasized that he didn't pursue the matter further and the the gesture wasn't directed at Nelson.

Gomez said Nelson responded by staring him down from the infield after subsequent pitches. The two exchanged words when Gomez ran out to take the field for the 10th inning, after Luis Valbuena's game-tying homer in the ninth. Eventually, George Springer had to restrain Gomez as the confrontation escalated.

"I just put my head down and didn't say a word and [Nelson stares] at me like that?" Gomez said. "You want respect and don't respect me?

"[Nelson] said, 'You have two seconds to bounce out of here.' And I just flipped. That's how everything started.

"In 10 years, I've never complained about pitches, if it's a strike or a ball. I am always quiet and put my head down and don't say a word. But they want respect and when you they think you showed them up, they get really upset about it. So why can they do that to us, especially when I'm not a rookie. They should respect us. I said, 'If you respect me, I'll respect you. But if you don't respect me, what do you want me to do?'"

Hinch had already been tossed, so he didn't have a perfect vantage point for the ejection, but his brief version at least nominally synced up with his player's side.

"Gomez didn't appreciate the gestures that Nelson was making and Nelson didn't appreciate arguing balls and strikes," Hinch said. "Apparently, he'd had enough. Next thing I knew, Gomez was upset."

Hinch gets ejected

Hinch was plenty heated himself in the eighth inning.

Carlos Correa struck out looking after a pair of borderline strike calls, and the shortstop jumped in disbelief at the called third strike. Hinch backed up his player, expressing displeasure as Correa made it back to the dugout. Moments later, home-plate umpire Ben May tossed him.

"I thought Carlos got a rough call on him, and I didn't appreciate it and [May] didn't appreciate what I had to say. And then I went out to make sure he understood exactly what I thought of his strike zone."

Both Tony Sipp and Dallas Keuchel also felt their strike zones were squeezed by May. A common thread postgame was the aforementioned "rookie" treatment for veterans, both on the mound and at the plate.

"I guess they didn't like the way we were acting or something," Colby Rasmus said. "They're pretty thin-skinned. They don't like anyone saying [stuff] to them. They are the powers that be. That is the way they felt.

"That makes it tough. This is the big leagues. ... It's hard to hit a round ball with a round bat anyway."

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.