Ausmus not concerned about hit-by-pitches
DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus agrees with Victor Martinez -- both believe Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole plunked Detroit's designated hitter intentionally on Tuesday night.
But, in Ausmus' opinion, that's yesterday's news, and he doesn't plan on giving it much thought during the remainder of the series.
"I moved on the inning after it, so I'm not concerned about it," he said Wednesday afternoon.
During the top of the fourth inning of Tuesday's game at Comerica Park, Detroit starter Justin Verlander hit Starling Marte on a 1-2 pitch with two outs and a runner on first. Then, in the bottom half of the frame, Cole beaned Martinez, and the Tigers' designated hitter took offense.
"Yeah, everyone knows that [he hit me on purpose]," Martinez said Tuesday night to Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket. "I mean, I have no respect for no one on that team, including Cole and their coaching staff. If they think that Verlander hit Marte with a 1-2 count, he was battling that at-bat. If they really think we did it on purpose, they're playing the wrong sport. Nothing else to say."
Verlander nailed Pedro Alvarez with the first offering of the fifth inning, home-plate umpire Chris Segal warned both benches, and the animosity seemed resolved -- until Martinez's angry postgame remarks, that is.
"I think that's Victor speaking his mind," Ausmus said.
The manager added that Verlander "definitely" didn't hit Marte intentionally in the fourth and that, regardless of intentionality, the issue appeared to be resolved.
"If it's done the right way, both teams at the end go, 'All right, it's over,'" Ausmus said.
The Tigers can't afford losing a pitcher on Wednesday night. They exhausted their bullpen during Tuesday's 14-inning marathon and nearly used Kyle Ryan -- Thursday's scheduled starter -- in relief.
Martinez went 1-for-5 with a single, lineout to the warning track and game-ending double play in Tuesday's game after the fourth-inning incident.
"If someone thinks they can hit Martinez and get in his head, they're gravely mistaken," Ausmus said. "With Victor, it'd be the opposite. If anything can ratchet his focus up, it'd be that."