ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — John Farrell, rival manager Joe Maddon — even the umpires who allowed they might’ve made a mistake — still didn’t quite know how to explain what happened to them Wednesday, other than it got both managers and B.J. Upton thrown out of the game.
Farrell was ejected in the seventh inning — just after changing pitchers — by plate ump Chad Fairchild.
Seconds later Maddon was run after arguing a call at first base by umpire Joe West. There was disagreement about the strike zone all game and it likely will cost Upton a suspension.
In the seventh, West, the first-base umpire, called Sam Fuld safe only to reverse the call after consulting with his crew, thereby turning the play into a rally-killing double-play. Fuld said he was tagged on the play, but he thought he had reached the base. First baseman Adam Lind said he made the tag but didn’t know if Fuld’s foot got to the bag first. The umps didn’t seem to know what to think.
“I have a hard time with that call being changed from that distance,” Maddon said, arguing for baseball to reconsider using instant replay. Farrell said the play was a difficult call and “they only have one shot at it ... I’m just glad it went our way.”
Upton completely blew a gasket in the ninth when he was called out on strikes. It appeared he brushed Fairchild with his cap and the umpire appeared to be wiping incident spittle from his face. He hadn’t heard from the league offices Thursday but it’s expected he will face a suspension of between three to five games.
Kyle Drabek walked four more hitters after coming into the game third in the majors with 25 free passes in 36 2/3 innings. He has a 6.98 ERA in his last four starts after being 1.93 in his first three but it was still a much improved performance from the 2 1/3 innings that was his last start in New York.
“When he got a couple guys on he had a tendency to overthrow but overall he had a much better command of the strike zone even though the walks were there again. Today was a step in the right direction,” said Farrell after the Jays series-ending 3-1 loss to the Rays.
Jays 1-2-3 hitters went a combined 1 for 12 with six strikeouts against Tampa starter David Price ... Johnny Damon collected his 2,600th hit to move into 75th place all-time, passing Steve Garvey ... Toronto has dropped 12 consecutive series in Tampa, the longest dry run in club history vs. any opponent. Toronto last won a series at Tropicana Field in April 2007.