CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona was ejected from Monday night’s game in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Guardians leading 5-4.
It was Francona's third ejection this year.
Francona appeared to ask for a review after Andres Gimenez looked like he was hit by a pitch when he checked his swing on a 1-1 pitch.
Following a heated exchange with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa, Francona was ejected for the 47th time in his career.
“Gimmy (Gimenez) pointed to us, I think everyone could see it. And I put my hand up and I don’t think they, I know they didn’t see me,” Francona said. “He (umpire Ron Kulpa) said that Gimmy was already engaged with the pitcher.
And I said ‘no’ that he wasn’t, he had stepped out and pointed.
“And then after that I just checked on his family a little bit and he checked on mine.”
After Francona’s ejection, Angels’ pitcher Ryan Tepera appeared to want a warm-up pitch after the delay from the argument with Francon and Kulpa. Kulpa said no, prompting manager Phil Nevin to confront the home plate ump to express his displeasure.
After another animated discussion, Kulpa was also ejected from the game in a scene that left both dugouts looking for answers after seeing tempers flare.
“Truth be told, I don’t know what was going through my mind.
And I don’t like that," Francona said. "You get to a point where my intercostal was spasming and DeMarlo is yelling something about stepping on my toe and I’m like ‘get away from me’
DeMarlo Hale became the acting manager following Francona’s ejection.
Amed Rosario gave the Guardians a 5-4 lead with a go-ahead double to score Steven Kwan earlier in the inning, his second of the night.
Cleveland scored four runs in the second inning off starter Reid Detmers to hand Konnor Pilkington an early lead. Tyler Freemen scored Oscar Gonzalez with an RBI single and Austin Hedges smacked a two-run double. Kwan added an RBI single of his own as part of a two-hit night.
The Angels cut the Guardians lead in half when Matt Duffy hit a two-run home run off Pilkington in the 4th inning. One inning later, Mike Trout evened the score with a two-run home run to center field, his 7th straight game with a homer.
Despite letting the early lead slip away, the Guardains fought back in the 7th to reclaim an edge. Kwan led of the 7th with a single and Rosario drove him home before the fireworks between Francona, Kulpa and Nevin ensured.
"He picks his spots when it’s necessary. Sometimes things don’t go your way and when you have a leader up to that has your back, those are the situations where you’ve got to go to war and sometimes it doesn’t’ look good,” Hedges said. “It’s nice to know that he has our back and that when things don’t go our way, he’s going to go stick up for us.”
NOTES-- With the Guardians one strike away from closer Emmanuel Clase sealing the victory, home plate umpire Ron Kulpa, who two innings earlier was involved in the argument and subsequent ejection parade, was hit by a foul tip from Matt Thaiss.
Kulpa was visibly shaken and left the field to be evaluated for a concussion. After an 8-minute delay, first-base umpire Carlos Torres suited up to finish the game calling balls and strikes.