Marquis, Riggleman ejected after Upton hit

Marquis, Riggleman ejected after Upton hit

Marquis, Riggleman ejected after Upton hit
PHOENIX -- Nationals right-hander Jason Marquis was ejected from Sunday's 9-4 victory after hitting D-backs outfielder Justin Upton with a pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Home-plate umpire Rob Drake issued warnings in the top of the fifth after D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy hit Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth with a pitch. It marked the third time Werth was hit by a pitch in the series. He missed Friday's game because he was hit on the elbow the previous day. Michael Morse was hit by a pitch later in the inning on Sunday, but Kennedy was not ejected.

In the sixth inning, with Washington leading 1-0, Kelly Johnson walked with one out. Marquis then hit Upton on the lower back with a pitch. Upton fell to the ground in pain, while Drake ejected Marquis and manager Jim Riggleman. Both Marquis and Riggleman argued with Drake, claiming Marquis did not hit Upton on purpose. It marked the fourth time Upton was hit by a pitch in the four-game series.

"I can promise you we did not have any intent to hit Upton," Riggleman said. "I feel terrible he got hit four times," Riggleman said. "Every time, it was hurting our chances to win the ballgame. We don't want to hit him. Clearly, we feel when it was an open base, they took some shots at Werth. ... Werth gets hit. He didn't like that, but warnings are given. We are not throwing at anybody.

"We are trying to win the game. We don't want [Marquis] coming out of that game. He doesn't want to come out of that game. It's freakish that the same guy kept getting hit. I'm disappointed that Jason didn't get to pitch, but somehow or another we came out with a win."

Marquis said he didn't have a good grip on ball and didn't want to put the winning run on base. All he wanted was a groundball double play to get out of the inning.

"It's a 1-0 game," Marquis said. "Why would I want to put more runners on base, especially the lead runner with one out? I was throwing the ball real well. There was a warning issued. The umpires made the call."

After the game, Upton didn't think the Nationals were trying to hit him, but he felt the pitchers should have had better control.

"I don't necessarily think that there was intent, everybody's trying to win a ballgame, but at some point, the pitcher has to hit his spot," Upton said. "If you're trying to come in and show me in then hit the mitt. Getting hit [four] times in three days is pretty ridiculous.

"I'm not mad about it, it's part of the game but obviously, you can't be hostile when one of your guys gets hit. I didn't whine about any of them. I didn't say anything to a pitcher. It's a part of the game and you should handle it that way."

In the top of the eighth inning, the D-backs were dealt their own ejections. With a runner on second, right-hander Esmerling Vasquez hit Danny Espinosa in the back with a pitch. Vasquez and D-backs manager Kirk Gibson were both ejected from the game, while Espinosa was visibly upset.

"I knew at some point something was going to happen," Espinosa said. "The reason I was mad was because of where I got hit. It was up. The ball was behind me."

In the ninth inning, Joe Paterson hit Espinosa on a 1-2 pitch, but no one felt Paterson did it on purpose.

"I don't think he was trying to hit me. He had two strikes on me," Espinosa said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.