In the eighth inning, Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer off Orioles right-hander Bud Norris.
Kinsler admired his shot for a moment – it got out in a hurry – and ran around the bases. It wasn’t the fastest run, but it certainly wasn’t the slowest. One web site had it clocked at 24 seconds.
Two pitches later, 38-year-old outfielder Torii Hunter took a 94-mph fastball in the ribs from Norris. Hunter and Norris yelled at each other, benches and bullpens cleared and home plate umpire James Hoye ejected Norris.
On Norris’ way off the field, he again said something to Hunter, there were more words exchanged and then it blew over.
Here are some quotes from after the game:
Norris on whether the pitch to Hunter was intentional:
First of all, I respect him and the game he’s played for a long time. I respect everything he’s done, but at the same token, I’m trying to do my job playing the game. I threw a first-pitch slider. He took a really aggressive hack at it ... Tried to throw a four-seam slider in, and it kind of got in on me. Late in the game, 115 pitches, whatever it may be. I’m sorry he didn’t appreciate it, but at the same token, I’m trying to throw a ball over the plate and get an out, ground ball to third base or something. I don’t have much more to say on this.
Norris on whether Hunter overreacted:
Obviously he didn’t like it. He’s entitled to his opinion, but I think he did overreact a little bit.
Norris on being yelled at by three opposing hitters this year (Hunter, Boston’s David Ross, who was trying to sacrifice bunt when Norris threw inside and Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker, who yelled at Norris after he was hit by a pitch):
A lot of people have a lot of opinions, but I’ll tell you right now, I’m going out there and trying to get outs. David Ross apologized immediately after that one. I don't know what’s going to happen here. Torii can take what he wants from it. But I’m trying to throw a fastball over the plate, trying to get a ground ball to third base.
Hunter on whether he thought it was done on purpose:
If I didn’t think that was on purpose, if Kinsler didn’t hit a home run, I wouldn’t have even argued right there. I would just take the pain and walk to first.
Hunter on his reaction:
Sometimes that comes out in all of us. We have anger issues. We just have to try and control them. If I hit you in the ribs, 94 mph, that stings. And all you see is red. I can’t explain it to you.
Hunter on Norris’ reputation:
I’ve heard bad things about him, but you can’t go by what you hear. But after tonight, maybe so.
Buck Showalter on whether Hunter overreacted:
Have you ever been hit with a 94-mph fastball in? I understand the emotion. These are guys that care on both sides. You have to play the game with emotion. You have to care. I understand all sides of it. It happens. It happens with people competing on this level because they care and play with emotion. Every day you have to funnel that into the game itself.
Crew chief Bob Davidson on what he saw:
Kinsler hits a two-run homer and then the next hitter gets drilled. I thought [James] Hoye handled it properly. I think that’s what anybody would have done. It’s a fastball that drilled the guys in the ribs, and I think Hoye did the right thing. That’s pretty much what it was ... As an umpire, it wasn’t rocket science. I really think that that was the right thing to do.
Hoye on why there was a slight delay before the ejection:
I kind of wanted to wait until I knew there wasn’t going to be a fight or anything going, and that’s when I [threw him out].
Hoye on the second wave of arguing:
I think Bud Norris was the instigator in that position again.
Davidson on what Norris said as he walked off the mound:
Norris said ‘[Expletive] you’ to him or something, is what Torii told me he said.