Yordano Ventura ejected; Athletics call pitch 'bush league'

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Yordano Ventura was ejected from Kansas City's 5-0 loss to Oakland on Saturday night after hitting Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie with what appeared to be a retaliatory pitch.

Lawrie drew the ire of the Royals the previous night when he slid hard and late into Alcides Escobar at second base. Escobar wound up with a sprained left knee in the collision and is day-to-day.

Ventura had already been pounded for five runs in the fourth inning, includingJosh Reddick's three-run homer, when Lawrie stepped to the plate. Ventura uncorked a fastball that hit Lawrie on the left elbow, and plate umpire Jim Joyce immediately ejected the hard-throwing right-hander, with the rest of the umpire crew moving quickly to keep the two teams from starting a melee.

"We knew it was coming," Reddick said of the pitch that got Ventura ejected in the fourth inning. "It's bush league. There's no need for it."

Both benches and bullpens emptied for the second straight night. No punches were thrown. Lawrie calmly walked to first base and waited for the furor to die down.

When asked whether Ventura expected to be suspended, fellow pitcher Jeremy Guthrie -- serving as a translator -- replied: "I don't think we need to answer that."

Ventura still has not left a game in what would be considered standard fare. He was forced out of his first start of the season with a cramp in his right thumb, and left his next start with a cramp in his right calf.

"Up until the ejection was able to stay in the game without having problems with the cramping," he said. "Those were the two things that were important for me."

Yohan Pino replaced Ventura, who was cheered as he entered the dugout.

Before Saturday's game, Lawrie said he had texted Escobar to apologize for Friday night's outcome. Escobar, however, said he never received a text from Lawrie.

"I reached out to him [Friday] night in a text message, and he got it," Lawrie told reporters, according to MLB.com. "I have the text message. I did reach out to him and I sent a number of paragraphs, and he messaged me back and he didn't really seem to care about my apology to him. He actually said it was stupid and that it was intentional.

"I didn't want to have any problems," Lawrie said after the game. "You can't control what happens on the other side."

Contended Escobar: "No, he don't say nothing. I don't hear nothing from him. Yeah, I'm surprised because when you do a guy like that you say, 'My bad.' He don't say nothing. I don't know why."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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