Banister: Bush didn't hit Bautista intentionally

Banister: Bush didn't hit Bautista intentionally

OAKLAND -- The overwhelming public perception is that the Rangers deliberately threw at Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista and that's what set in motion the eighth-inning events from Sunday's game.

Bautista appeared to retaliate by sliding hard into Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor on a force play and the situation escalated from there. The two squared off, Odor pushed and then punched Bautista and the two teams spilled out onto the field.

Banister intimated after Sunday's game Rangers pitcher Matt Bush was not trying to throw at Bautista and reiterated that on Monday in Oakland. Bush, leading off the eighth inning, hit Bautista while trying to protect a 7-6 lead.

"It's about winning ballgames," Banister said. "People think what they want to think, whatever we say or don't say. There's no swaying of opinion. I'm not going to sway anybody's opinion. Things happen, it got out of hand, it got ugly, it's unfortunate. It's not what we wanted.

Odor discusses altercation

"We are in the business of winning ballgames. We had a one-run lead. We had blown a few leads lately with a shaky bullpen. Why would we put ourselves that situation? That's the part I don't understand. We would be just as happy moving on and winning a baseball game."

Must C: Tempers flare in Texas

The Rangers will likely hear on Tuesday if Odor or anybody else is suspended as a result of the altercation. If the suspension is more than 2-3 games, the Rangers may have to call up Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock for infield depth.

"Any penalty is severe," Banister said. "Anytime you lose a player for any length of time, it's severe. There are rules in play and we live by the rules. The situation happened, it's ugly, it looks bad, it's not good for anybody.

"The whole situation was not a pretty situation. It got escalated. Both players have a passion for the game. Do I want that to happen? No."

Torre on melee, suspensions

Banister also took umbrage to any insinuations that Odor is a "dirty" player even though his style of play can irritate the opposition.

"He needs to continue to play," Banister said. "It's how he plays the game. He plays hard, he runs hard, swings the bat, does things to help us win games. If playing hard is offensive, it's just offensive.

"I'm not sure I agree with that."

Jackson replaces Wilhelmsen The Rangers optioned pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen to Triple-A Round Rock and called up right-hander Luke Jackson. Wilhelmsen, acquired from the Mariners in the offseason, had a 9.98 ERA in 17 appearances. He had allowed 25 hits, including six home runs, in 15 1/3 innings, along with eight walks and just six strikeouts.

"From my vantage, the breaking ball/fastball combination has not been as efficient as it has in the past," Banister said. "How they complement each other is a challenge. It may be a little confidence, it may not. For me, it's sharpening the execution of pitches."

Jackson was limited in Spring Training by a stress reaction in his lower back and began the season on the disabled list. He made 10 appearances for Triple-A Round Rock with a 2.25 ERA and opponents hitting .195 off him.

Rangers beat

• Catcher Robinson Chirinos, who is on the disabled list with a fractured right forearm, is on the trip and doing some light swinging with a fungo. He is hoping to get clearance next week to start hitting a baseball off a tee or soft toss.

• Pitching coach Doug Brocail celebrated his 49th birthday on Monday. Broadcaster Eric Nadel also had his birthday,

• Bush earned his first Major League win in just his second appearance on Sunday. He is the 10th Rangers pitcher in club history to earn his first win in at least his first two appearances.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.