Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon wasn’t hiding his feelings about what happened in the ninth inning. In his eyes, it was as clear as the Rays’ power display against Boston starter Jon Lester.
Matt Joyce hit his second grand slam in six games and Elliot Johnson had a two-run shot to lift the Rays to their third straight win, 7-4 over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night in a game that saw the benches empty in the ninth inning.
The Rays pounding of Lester was only the subplot to a feisty ninth.
Boston reliever Franklin Morales threw behind DH Luke Scott with the first pitch of an at-bat and hit him in the hip area on a 3-1 count. Scott was restrained by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the benches and bullpens emptied. There was a lot of pushing and shoving along the first-base line that carried over behind home plate before order was restored.
“That’s truly somebody flexing their muscles on the other side and they need to put them in their back pocket and understand they can hurt their own team for something like that,” Maddon said. “To be really carelessly incompetent on their side and truly try to hit someone and throw behind somebody and hitting them in the leg for all the wrong reasons eventually they can get their own guys hurt. That was ridiculous. It was absurd, idiotic. I’ll use all those words.
“Our guys got it. We had every reason to be totally into the push-back right there. We didn’t start anything. We don’t start stuff. We’ll finish stuff, but we don’t start it.”
Maddon was asked if it was possible things would continue in the rest of the series.
“That’s not up to us,” he said.
[via Associated Press]