Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Benches clear after last out of Nats-Rays game

Dustup a continuation of Taylor-Romo issue from earlier in month
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- A rift at the end of Tuesday's Nationals-Rays game put an exclamation point on an odd ninth inning of Tampa Bay's 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

The Rays had pretty much gone with the kitchen sink of strategies in the ninth, moving players all over the field -- including having Jose Alvarado, a left-handed pitcher, move to first base for a batter, then return to face another batter.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- A rift at the end of Tuesday's Nationals-Rays game put an exclamation point on an odd ninth inning of Tampa Bay's 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

The Rays had pretty much gone with the kitchen sink of strategies in the ninth, moving players all over the field -- including having Jose Alvarado, a left-handed pitcher, move to first base for a batter, then return to face another batter.

View Full Game Coverage

Listen: Morning Lineup Podcast on the benches clearing

All of that action set the table for Sergio Romo to enter the game to replace Alvarado with one out and the bases loaded.

The veteran right-hander retired Trea Turner on a short pop to right field for the second out to bring Michael A. Taylor to the plate.

Video: WSH@TB: Cash moves Alvarado to 1st in eventful 9th

Romo proceeded to strike out Taylor swinging to end the game, and that's when the action began.

Romo waked toward the plate and began chirping at Taylor, who had stolen a base with Romo on the mound when the teams met in Washington on June 6, a game the Nationals won, 11-2.

Video: TB@WSH: Taylor swipes third, scores on throwing error

With two outs in the sixth inning of that lopsided game, Taylor stole third base and scored the Nats' 10th run on the play via catcher Wilson Ramos' throwing error.

Romo never forgot.

Video: Chris and Kevin on the ending in Rays and Nats' game

"I think everybody knows what that was about," Romo said about why he addressed Taylor after the strikeout. "Even the guys on their side. Among all of that, I got told a couple of things by guys that I know very well on that team, and they know I'm not that kind of person. I'm not going to start something over nothing.

"I'm the smallest guy out there, to be honest. But I will defend my team. I will put myself out there for this squad, for this team, for the guys that strap on those spikes every day. I'm just here for them. Just letting them know that we aren't going to be a team you can pad stats on. That's pretty much it."

Video: WSH@TB: Benches empty after Romo K's Taylor

Taylor said he didn't know Romo was talking to him until he saw his teammates standing up in the dugout.

"I turned around and realized he was saying something," Taylor said. "I understand the situation, that they were upset I stole a base. In my mind, you saw how many runs they scored with nine outs yesterday, so the game's not over. Obviously, they think differently, but I'm not worried about that. We lost the game and that's the only thing that upsets me. The talking and things like that, I'm not big on drama, so it's whatever."

Video: WSH@TB: Martinez, Taylor discuss scuffle with Romo

Nationals manager Dave Martinez allowed that "Sergio was a little upset because we ran on him back home, which I didn't find a big deal."

"If he should get mad, he should get mad at me," Martinez said. "Don't show up one of my players. I know [Rays manager] Kevin Cash, and he'll take care of that over there, but don't do that. That's not right. [Romo] has been in this league a long time to know you don't do that kind of stuff."

Video: WSH@TB: Cash on Eovaldi besting Scherzer, scuffle

Romo said he meant no disrespect to anybody on the Nationals, "other than the person I felt disrespected me."

"I don't know him personally, I have nothing against him off the field," Romo said. "I'm just letting you know that this game is very unforgiving. The way I was taught to play this game is that it governs itself. I just had to let him know that I didn't like it."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays, Sergio Romo, Michael A. Taylor