Chirinos: HBPs 'definitely not intentional'

May 12th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- After the Rays' 7-2 victory on Saturday, and were upset because they felt there could've been some intent after Rays right-hander hit Voit with a pitch on the left shoulder in the sixth inning.

"I'm not saying he was or he wasn't [trying to hit me]," Voit said on Saturday. "He can hit me anywhere else, it's just when it's up and in, it's a sketchy situation that can be career-ending."

Sabathia, who received a five-game suspension after intentionally hitting former Rays catcher Jesus Sucre on Sept. 27 after a couple of Yankees players were hit throughout that series, immediately came out of the Yankees dugout and yelled at Chirinos and the Tampa Bay dugout as Voit trotted down the first-base line.

"I mean, what are you doing?" Sabathia said. "You know, like, let's go. We don't want to get into that again. We did that last year."

On Sunday, Chirinos said he was just focused on keeping the game tied at 2 in the sixth inning and wasn't paying much attention to Sabathia or anyone else in the Yankees dugout. He made sure to add that there was definitely no intent behind the pitch.

"I truthfully didn't pay attention to that," Chirinos said Sunday, in Spanish. "Because it wasn't intentional, I really wasn't paying attention to what they were saying."

Chirinos added that he understood why the Yankees would feel that way, given what transpired at the end of last season between the two clubs, but said it was just a sinker that got away from him and ended up going up-and-in to Voit.

"The game was tied and I didn't want to lose my focus after that," Chirinos said. "Maybe they thought it was because of what happened last year. But no, it definitely wasn't intentional."

Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Sunday's game that he understands the thinking behind defending teammates, but also reiterated that there was no intent on the pitch and that the Rays were just focused on trying to get their first win of the season against New York.

"Look, players don't like getting hit by pitches and I respect that. We don't like that to happen to our guys. It doesn't feel good," Cash said. "But in that specific case, Yonny is not trying to hit him. It's a 2-2 ballgame [and] we're not wanting baserunners on there. I think it's just teammates sticking up for them, hopefully our guys would do the same thing."

Rays set pitching for Marlins series
The Rays are off Monday, but the team will head down to Miami for a midweek two-game set against the Marlins, beginning on Tuesday. will get the start for the Rays on Tuesday and the team will follow it with an opener for Wednesday's game.

With off-days on Monday and Thursday this week, the Rays have more flexibility with their pitching before the weekend series against the Yankees in New York.