CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd was ejected from Thursday's 6-2 Tigers win in the fifth inning after coming inside on Odubel Herrera and appeared to hit the Phillies' center fielder with a pitch."I wasn't trying to hit anybody," Boyd said. "I think this was the first spring ejection]
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd was ejected from Thursday's 6-2 Tigers win in the fifth inning after coming inside on Odubel Herrera and appeared to hit the Phillies' center fielder with a pitch.
"I wasn't trying to hit anybody," Boyd said. "I think this was the first [spring ejection] I've ever seen."
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It only escalated from there. Home-plate umpire Tom Hallion's initial ruling morphed into an atmosphere that produced five ejections -- three pitchers, a manager and a bench coach.
Phillies right-hander Parker Frazier was tossed in the eighth inning after plunking Derek Hill. Because Hallion had already given a warning, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was automatically ejected when he left the dugout to argue. In the ninth, Phillies righty Pedro Beato was ejected after hitting Dylan Rosa. Bench coach Rob Thomson, running the team in Kapler's absence, was promptly tossed.
"It was crazy,'' said Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, who was not ejected despite a spirited argument with Hallion in the fifth. "I guess once the precedent was decided, that [Hallion] thought we threw intentionally at [the Phillies], I guess he decided he had to set the tone. He said, 'I know when somebody is throwing at somebody.' That's what he thought."
While facing Herrera, Boyd threw a fastball behind the batter's head that sailed high and to the backstop. When Boyd's next pitch came inside, Hallion was quick with the ejection.
"On the first one, I was in mid-delivery, [Herrera] was bailing out of the box, he wasn't ready or something and the ball just slipped," Boyd said. "I wasn't trying to throw at anybody's head. That's ridiculous. You don't want to harm somebody. You don't want to hurt somebody.
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"On the next one, I was just throwing a two-seam in and it wasn't that much in. He dives. I wasn't trying to hit him. It wasn't on purpose."
In the top half of the fifth inning, Jose Iglesias was struck by a pitch from Phillies righty Zach Eflin. Iglesias took his base but was replaced on defense by Cole Peterson afterward.
Boyd exited with the Tigers holding a 5-1 lead. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out three over 4 2/3 innings. Despite his early departure, Boyd, who will probably get one more spring start, earned the win and moved to 4-0 in Grapefruit League games.
"I felt like it was another step getting ready for this season," Boyd said. "I was happy with my command and happy with everything."
Joey Johnston is a contributor to MLB.com.