SEATTLE -- In the era of replay review, it's not easy for managers to get ejected. But when Scott Servais charged out to question first base umpire C.B. Bucknor's reversal of a foul-ball call on a grounder by Leonys Martin on Sunday, he not only drew the heave-ho, but the appreciation of his players after Seattle rallied for an 8-7 win over the Rangers.
Bucknor made a delayed out call on a broken-bat grounder to first by Martin for the final out in the sixth, initially calling the ball foul as Mike Napoli fielded it behind the bag before signaling out after Martin had headed to the dugout to get a new bat.
Servais protested vigorously enough to eventually get tossed by Bucknor. His only previous ejection came June 26, 2016, against the Cardinals.
"He called a foul ball, and then all the sudden, without conferencing with the home plate umpire he called it a fair ball," Servais said. "How does one person change his mind like that? Obviously, whether it was fair, foul or whatever, you call foul ball, it's a foul ball.
"Obviously, the umpires want to get the call right, but there is a way to do it, and it was one of those times I thought he was totally wrong with how the situation was handled, and I let him know."
The Mariners had just scored one run to cut the deficit to 6-5, and they eventually tied the score at 6, lost the lead and then tallied twice to win it in the ninth to sweep the Rangers.
"When Skip got tossed, that kind of fired everybody up and get us going," said Jarrod Dyson, who scored the tying run in the ninth. "It's always good to see your Skip go out there and battle for you. That fired us up."
"He has our back, and it showed on that play," said Nelson Cruz, who drove in the winning run. "He's willing to get thrown out when he believes it's not the right call or even just to protect us."
Servais knows what is at stake after his team's 2-8 stumble out of the gate.
"It's been a rough start to our season, and we're starting to get some momentum going," he said. "I talked to the players about dialing up the intensity. These games are all important. We know where we're at. We dug ourselves a little hole, and now we're starting to climb out of it. We've got to fight and claw for everything."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.