Tensions remain high between Red Sox, O's following April incident
By Craig Forde
Special to MLB.com |
BOSTON -- Entering this four-game series between the Orioles and Red Sox, both sides hoped to put to rest the bad blood from Baltimore two weeks prior. The hope was that anything that had been said or done following Manny Machado's slide into Dustin Pedroia was over.
Even after Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts with a pitch Monday, there was no major issue. But when Chris Sale buzzed the back of Machado's legs with a first-pitch, 97-mph fastball in the first inning of Tuesday night's game at Fenway Park, the flame was reignited. Machado went on to homer in the 5-2 Baltimore loss, but he was still thinking about the errant pitch after the game.
"It's obvious how we feel," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We're biased. The umpires are there to try to protect the players. There's two ways you can protect them there, and they chose the other one."
"Obviously, with so much being written about what's transpired in the first six games or so we've played, [home-plate umpire] D.J. [Reyburn] felt like it was an appropriate call," Sox manager John Farrell added. "Whether or not, that's not the debate. The call's made."
After the game, Machado, who was visibly furious with the pitch on the field as it happened, launched into an expletive-laden tirade that at its tamest called the pitch "coward stuff."
"They're still thinking about that same slide that I did that was no intention on hurting anybody," Machado said. "I'm still playing. Get thrown at my [expletive] head … I've lost my respect for that organization, for that coaching staff, for everyone over there."
Machado struck out in his first and second at-bats, but in the seventh he exacted a little revenge when he took Sale's first pitch over the Green Monster. It was only the second home run allowed by Sale this season and Machado's sixth of the year, coming off the bat with an exit velocity of 110.4 mph according to Statcast™, and projected to travel 433 feet.
"He handled it properly, and he ended up going deep later and showed his way of retaliation," Adam Jones said. "At the end of the day, the best way to speak in this game is with your bat and your glove, not with your mouth."
The blast brought the O's within one run, before Boston padded its lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame.
For his part, Sale stated, "That's part of it. I can't speak on what he says. I don't know what he said. I'm not too worried about it either … I'm not losing sleep tonight."
Jones was quick to add that he felt things were now over regarding this situation, but an angry Machado was left scratching his head about why it persists.
"Go ask them, go ask Farrell," he said. "As I see it, I slid into second base normal and kind of hurt someone a little bit -- unintentional -- and they're still trying to pay the piper. I don't know what their mindset is."
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.