Friday night’s American League Championship series matchup between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers got a little chippy in the eighth inning.
Two innings after hitting a go-ahead three-run homer, Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia was plunked by Astros pitcher Bryan Abreu.
Garcia took exception to the pitch and had a heated exchange with Houston catcher Martin Maldonado as both benches cleared.
Abreu and Garcia were ejected, prompting Astros manager Dusty Baker to argue with the umpires, throwing his hat before being ejected.
“It didn’t make any sense to me,” Baker said after the game of Abreu’s ejection. “We got a two-run game, and they explained to me that the guy just hit a three-run homer, but that was a mistake that he hit a three-run homer. The ball was down and in, and he wasn’t trying to go down and in.
“We pitch him up. We pitch him up and in. And anytime you’re throwing a projectile 97 miles an hour, some of them are going to get away. I don’t care if you’re big league, Hall of Fame, I don’t care who you are.”
Baker said he understood why Rangers manager Bruce Bochy would take exception to Garcia being hit, but he pointed to the score of the game as to why it wasn’t intentional.
Crew chief James Hoye said that Abreu was ejected for throwing at Garcia with intent, according to The Associated Press.
“How do you prove intent? That’s what I don’t understand,” Baker continued. “And I ain’t been that mad in a long time. And I don’t usually get mad about nothing.”
Despite being angry with the ejection, the result of Friday night’s game must have cooled Baker off a bit.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve launched a go-ahead three-run homer of his own in the top of the ninth inning as the Astros took a 3-2 series lead.
“He’s got a high concentration level, because that’s what it takes in big moments like that, is concentration, desire and relaxation all encompassed into one. And everybody can’t do all three of those things,” Baker said. “This dude is one of the baddest dudes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some greats.”
The series returns to Houston for Game 6 on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report