MINNEAPOLIS -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister was fuming after a 9-6 win over the Twins on Saturday because third baseman Jurickson Profar was hit by a pitch three times.
The Rangers are convinced the third hit by pitch was intentional in response to Profar stealing second base in the fourth inning. At the time the Rangers had a 9-2 lead and the steal came after Profar was hit by a pitch for the second time.
"The third time it was because I stole second base in the fourth inning," Profar said. "That's why they hit me. I knew they were going to hit me."
Profar said the Twins' dugout was yelling at him after the stolen base. That's why he knew he was going to get hit later in the game.
"I thought it was after the fifth inning that you shut it down," Profar said. "They almost came back at the end. They thought it was bad. It is what it is. It's baseball, I'll learn from it."
Banister said Profar did nothing wrong.
"It's the fourth inning," Banister said. "We're still playing baseball. Stealing second base in that situation … I didn't think it was unnecessary. There is a lot of game left to play. You've got to continue to play the game."
Profar came up in the seventh against Twins reliever Addison Reed. The first two pitches were well inside. The third one nailed Profar and Banister started yelling from the dugout across the field.
"I thought they were intentionally excessive," Banister said. "They tried to dial him up three different times. There is a difference on what they are focused on and what we are focused on."
The Rangers did not retaliate later in the game.
"We are trying to win baseball games," Banister said. "We're not looking to get caught up in anything else. I wasn't happy about it, you can tell by my comments. You get three opportunities to hit a guy?"