Lawrie maintains no intent to injure Escobar
KANSAS CITY -- A's third baseman Brett Lawrie insists he had "no intention of hurting anybody" when sliding into Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar at second base while trying to break up a double play that turned into a benches-clearing escapade in the seventh inning in Friday's 6-4 loss at Kauffman Stadium.
Escobar, who departed the game immediately, sustained a mild strain and contusion to his left knee, and Lawrie, who was confirmed out on the play following a replay review, said he planned to reach out to Escobar, reiterating several times after the game, "I would never try to cleat anybody."
With none out in the inning, and the game tied at 4, A's outfielder Josh Reddick hit a hard grounder back to the mound that bounced off Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera and deflected to third baseman Mike Moustakas, who flipped the ball to Escobar as Lawrie slid into the bag.
"It wasn't like I overextended myself to go get him," Lawrie said. "He was right on top of the bag. That's just baseball right there."
"He's standing right there on the base trying to turn two," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The only thing [Lawrie] can try to do is go around him, and he can't do that. He's an aggressive player, it's an aggressive slide, but there's a reason for it."
Melvin has watched the replay several times, and, "I still haven't seen anything to suggest he was out," he said. "To me, he beat him to the bag and [Lawrie] was lying on the bag. And if he came off at all, there was never a tag put on him, in my opinion."
Lawrie said he couldn't determine whether he was safe, "the way the play happened," but he was adamant about his intentions, despite the stir it all caused. Lawrie remained on the ground, he said, only to make sure the shortstop was OK.
Moustakas didn't appear to see it that way, gesturing for Lawrie to leave the field.
"I'm not rubbing it in anyone's face or anything," Lawrie said. "I'm just making sure everyone's OK. Things just got heated in the moment. I feel like that's your teammates kind of picking you up in that situation. I feel like that would be vice versa over here with our guys as well. You see one of your guys go down and it rubs you the wrong way.
"But obviously, they need to know there was no intention on hurting anybody. That's just playing the game hard and trying to break up a double play in a tight ballgame."
"It's obviously unfortunate that Alcides got hurt," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "Hopefully it's not too serious. No one in this room wants to see anyone get hurt. Brett plays the game hard. From my view, it looked like a typical break-up-the-double-play slide. It's unfortunate."