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Rays, O's moving on from Tate-Pham kerfuffle

@Sportsgal25
September 3, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- One day after Rays left fielder Tommy Pham’s comments regarding a high-and-inside pitch from Orioles reliever Dillon Tate, both sides were ready to leave the incident the past. “I’ve never tried to hit anybody before, but all I can really say is I’m not going to take

ST. PETERSBURG -- One day after Rays left fielder Tommy Pham’s comments regarding a high-and-inside pitch from Orioles reliever Dillon Tate, both sides were ready to leave the incident the past.

“I’ve never tried to hit anybody before, but all I can really say is I’m not going to take shots at another man through a camera or interview like that,” said Tate, who added he wouldn’t seek out Pham to address the issue. “If it ends up happening, I’m sure we’ll talk about it, but as of right now, no. [I’m] just playing baseball, really. Just having fun.”

Pham was not happy with Tate’s inside pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning of Monday's 5-4 Tampa Bay win at Tropicana Field. So much so that he told Fox Sports Florida’s Tricia Whitaker in an on-field interview postgame that, “[Tate] threw it at my head, and after that, I just wanted to kill him.”

Pham -- who was hit in the knee by a pitch in the bottom of the eighth -- officially settled the score by stroking the game-winning single to finish the at-bat, but he later added that his bigger issue was with what happened after Tate’s pitch.

“I’m more frustrated with their dugout hollering after the pitches that were thrown,” Pham said. “Kind of like they were cheering him on that he was buzzing me up and in. But success is revenge. And I got the game-winning hit for us.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash didn’t think there was intent on Tate’s pitch, but he also backed his hitter’s reaction.

“It was a young pitcher trying to get him out,” Cash said Tuesday. “It doesn’t feel good, and it’s not comfortable when you get 95 [mph] thrown around your head, so I understand his frustration.”

Hyde did the same in a separate interview Tuesday, but in reverse.

“I have a ton of appreciation for a guy not feeling good about a ball being up and in,” he said. “I’ve been hit in the head. I’ve been hit in the face; it’s not a good feeling. However, common sense will kind of tell you that Dillon Tate’s on the mound, trying to get through a Major League inning. He’s only had a handful of appearances in the big leagues, and he’s throwing a tie game in the 10th inning.

“The last thing he’s trying to do is hit anybody. It’s not a story for me.”

For the Rays, who are in the midst of a late-season push to snatch one of two American League Wild Card berths, Pham’s comments could certainly be credited to the heightened sense of importance attached to every game. Tate was willing to entertain the angle.

“I can definitely speak on myself and say that when I’ve been in the heat of the moment in competition, sometimes things come out, and maybe that’s what happened,” he said. “I don’t know. I’m not really speaking for him on that matter, but that’s all I have on that.”

Dawn Klemish is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Tampa. Follow her on Twitter @Sportsgal25.