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SAS CITY -- Frenchy Quarter Thursday turned out to be short for the principal celebrant, Jeff Francoeur, and for his manager, Ned Yost, as both were ejected. But when the Royals beat the Brewers, 4-3, with a ninth-inning comeback on Thursday night, they were celebrating like it was Mardi Gras.
"I tried to tell everybody I was the spark plug tonight," Francoeur said. "I got everybody fired up, and Ned finished it off, and we came up with a big win. It was a huge win."
Francoeur was called out on strikes in the second inning, and expressed some objections with plate umpire Dan Iassogna. His tone apparently didn't please Iassogna, who quickly ejected Francoeur.
"The replay showed the ball was probably five inches inside for strike three," Yost said. "He got called out on a pitch last night that was four or five inches inside. [Francoeur] made the mistake of pointing to where the ball [was], and that's an automatic ejection."
The ejection came on a night when Francoeur's personal cheering section, the Frenchy Quarter, was out in force behind right field. Seating in the Frenchy Quarter costs $21, which gets a fan a ticket, a Frenchy Quarter T-shirt and blue Mardi Gras beads. Many fans in the section were wearing the bright-yellow T-shirts, but for the rest of the game, they could only cheer Francoeur's replacement, Mitch Maier.
Yost came out to intercede during the argument. He steered Francoeur toward the dugout, made a few comments to Iassogna and returned to the bench.
But an angry Yost was back on the field the Brewers' fourth inning when Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan, attempting a sacrifice bunt, was hit by the batted ball as he headed toward first base. Pitcher Luke Hochevar and catcher Humberto Quintero were quick to claim that the ball struck Morgan in fair ground and that he should be out. Meanwhile, Morgan had pulled up a few feet down the line, as Iassogna ruled it a foul ball.
"From my vantage point, it looked like Morgan was out of the box when he bunted the ball, but upon further review, watching the replay, the umpire got it right. I was wrong," Yost said.
But Yost joined in his players' objections so strenuously that Iassogna ejected him, leaving bench coach Chino Cadahia in charge. It was the first heave-ho for Yost this season and the 27th of his career. For Francoeur it was the fifth ejection of his career.
So Francoeur and Yost got together in the batting cages underneath the stadium and watched the rest of the game on TV. In the ninth, Brayan Pena's single tied the score, and when the Brewers bungled the throw in, Jarrod Dyson was able to race home with the game-winning run.
"As soon as Brayan hit the ball, we knew the score was tied," Yost said. "We both jumped up, and I was trying to see what happened, and boom, Frenchy pushes me, and boom, I push him back. And the next thing we knew, Dyson was sliding across home plate, and then we really started pushing each other."