PITTSBURGH -- "Let's go, Dre!" Those apparently were the words that got center fielder Matt Kemp ejected during the second inning of the Dodgers' 10-6 loss to the Pirates on Thursday. After Kemp was tossed, manager Don Mattingly came out to argue before getting the boot, too. Starter Joe Blanton was also kicked out after he left the game in the fifth inning. Kemp and Blanton were ejected by home-plate umpire Angel Campos, while Mattingly was thrown out by crew chief Tim Tschida.
"Matt got thrown out today for cheering for Andre [Ethier]," Mattingly said. "He was barking about the pitch to Dre, the second strike, but then Angel said, 'That's enough. I don't want to hear another word.' So the next thing that came out of [Matt's mouth] -- I heard it, clear as a bell -- he said -- because Matt knows where to stop -- and Matt said, 'Let's go, Dre!' And [Campos] looked over, and he threw him out of the game. It's unacceptable." Mattingly and Kemp stormed out of the dugout following the center fielder's ejection. Mattingly initially restrained Kemp before Shane Victorino and bench coach Trey Hillman stepped in. That let Mattingly argue with the umpires for several minutes before he was kicked out, as well. "It's unbelievable, man. I don't get it," Kemp said. "I'm sitting here, watching the game. There's some big moments, you know, bases loaded. You think about things like that. You might be up to bat. You might get that big hit. "But that wasn't able to happen today, because I got kicked out of the game for something that wasn't worth getting kicked out of the game for." The Dodgers lost another player in the fifth, when Blanton was removed from the game after 4 1/3 innings. Of course, his day was done already, but Blanton changed his course and headed to Campos for a discussion after being relieved. Blanton issued a season-high four walks in the game, so he probably wasn't too big a fan of Campos' strike zone. Blanton declined to comment on the umpiring following the game. "I knew Joe was frustrated also," Mattingly said. "I think he was frustrated right away. Yeah, it seemed like from the first inning." Thursday marked the first time this season that either Kemp or Blanton had been ejected from a game. Mattingly has now been tossed six times, more than any other manager in the Major Leagues. "How many times is Matt going to come up in that game with guys in scoring position?" Mattingly said. "I know, we couldn't stop them and they scored runs, so I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. We had our chances. But still, you just can't affect a game like that, for me. "To me, this really isn't about being mad. This needs to go to the league, because we're in a pennant race, I got the guy that's second in the MVP last year. You can't get thrown out for cheering for your teammate. If we would have went out of control there, it's different. But that's unacceptable behavior, for me."
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.