Orioles third baseman throws bat on swing after nearly being hit by pitch
BALTIMORE -- When Fernando Abad threw a second straight pitch way inside to Manny Machado in the eighth inning of a game long-decided, it was clear to Buck Showalter that Abad was trying to hit his third baseman.
When Machado flung his bat past Alberto Callaspo at third base as the second pitch whizzed by him, it was clear to the umpires and Athletics that his response was intentional, too, although Machado denied it after the Orioles' 11-1 loss at Camden Yards on Sunday.
"It slipped out of my hands," Machado insisted. "Umpire thought it was intentional, so at that point I guess you have to toss the pitcher and the hitter at the same time."
Machado and Abad were ejected when crew chief Larry Vanover deemed that both actions were intentional. Relief pitcher Ryan Cook replaced Abad on the mound and catcher Caleb Joseph replaced Machado at the plate with two outs and a 1-1 count in the bottom of the eighth inning.
"It was obvious the pitcher threw at him the second time," crew chief Larry Vanover said. "The first time you have some doubt, but the second time there was no doubt he threw at him. And then he threw the bat. That wasn't accidental."
Machado stared down Abad after the first pitch and started jawing with Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt after he let go of the bat on the second pitch.
As the benches cleared, designated hitter John Jaso rushed toward Machado before Baltimore third-base coach Wayne Kirby separated him from the batter.
"What he's doing," Derek Norris said, "it's a disgrace to baseball and I think it's sad to see someone of his talent and national recognition have things like that stain your career."
The altercation, which cleared the benches and emptied the bullpen, was the second such incident that Machado was involved in during the series.
During the O's loss on Friday, Josh Donaldson tagged Machado on his way to third and Machado tumbled to the ground. Machado tossed his helmet toward the third baseman and the two exchanged words when Machado got up.
"Two days ago they had a disagreement over what Manny perceived as something and I'm always going to support him," Showalter said. "And then two days later in a 10-0 game in the eighth inning, someone decided to do something else. I'll manage my club accordingly and they can live with their decisions."
No ejections were handed out on Friday, but it set the tone for a feisty series.
"I know there was a hard tag, but you look at it on video, it's a normal tag. No big deal," Jaso said. "You start to think, Who does this guy think he is? The game should be played the right way and when it's not, people should be told a certain way.
During the series, both Machado and Donaldson homered and during the sixth inning of Friday's game starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen hit Donaldson with a pitch.
Sunday's ejection was the second of Machado's young career and Showalter hopes that he will use it as an opportunity to grow.
The manager also suspects that Machado's recent injury played a part in this weekend's frustrations, especially on Friday when he was worried that getting knocked over could cause him to reinjure his knee.
"It was also a good experience for him to have," Showalter said. "He cares. It's a good learning experience for all of us."
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com.