A bizarre series of events during Thursday’s game between the Red Sox and Royals resulted in Boston manager Alex Cora being ejected from the game, reportedly in mid-sentence by plate umpire Bill Welke.
The trouble started in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Red Sox trailing Kansas City 4-3 and two Royals on base. Receiver Salvador Pérez threw a line pilot onto the left field line, where it appeared to graze the foul post and bounce down the field of play.
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A review by the umpire resulted in the hit being ruled a home run, and photographic evidence seems to support this decision (barely). With that, the Royals took a 7-3 lead, which ended up being the final score of the game.
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Following the review, Cora seemed dissatisfied with the referees’ explanation of their decision. As reported via Boston.com, the Red Sox broadcast on NESN reported that the crew could not explain whether the ball was fair or foul, leading to a discussion between Cora and Welke.
What started as a routine discussion turned into a bizarre ejection: Welke clearly didn’t like something Cora said, even though the latter seemed perfectly calm in her conversation with the plate umpire. Cora was understandably shocked by the ejection and stayed on the pitch for several moments to chat.
Alex Cora gets ejected for what appears to be light conversation pic.twitter.com/KP9SQEo7Cj
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Cora did not explain in detail the conversation he had with Welke.
“I was very calm asking what happened, and whatever,” Cora said. “He kicked me out. It happens, I guess.
The Red Sox manager said afterwards that he thought the ball was fair, but not a home run. He also didn’t blame the match result on the call. (Even if the ball had been ruled double or triple, the Royals would have had a 6-3 or 5-3 lead; the result wouldn’t have changed anyway, given Boston didn’t score another run ).
“It didn’t decide the game,” added Cora. “We walked the ninth batter twice, he went on base three times. We have two left-handers there that we need to do a better job. We have to be better. You can’t rely on three or four guys. It’s total teamwork.
With that, the Red Sox (53-54, last in AL East) fall to 4-6 in their last 10 games, and 1-2 since Tuesday’s trade deadline.