The Royals preserved a one-run lead in the seventh inning of their 11-10 win Sunday when Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, who had just doubled in a run, took off for third base after Kelvin Herrera threw a wild pitch past catcher Salvador Perez.
Martin easily scampered to third, and took a wide turn off the bag because Herrera wasn’t covering the plate.
Perez ran over near the backstop, and came up firing when he reached the ball. Third baseman Mike Moustakas was waiting for Perez’s throw, and his tag nabbed Martin before he could get back to the base.
“I really wasn’t that far (off the bag), but that kid’s got a cannon arm,” Martin said. “What I did recognize was the pitcher was kind of lazy to cover home plate, so as I’m rounding third, full head of steam, I’m thinking aggressively, like, ‘If this guy’s not paying attention I’m gonna take the extra base.’
“As soon as I saw he (Perez) had the ball in his hand I realized that wasn’t a good idea — put on the brakes. He threw a missile down to third base — got me by a fraction of a second.”
The Blue Jays tied the game 10-10 in the eighth against Wade Davis and were looking for more with one of their best hitters, Jose Bautista, at the plate. But Bautista was ejected during the at-bat with the go-ahead run on first base and two outs.
“I don’t know why he threw me out,” Bautista said of home-plate umpire Jerry Meals. “I said stuff, but that doesn’t mean he’s entitled to throw me out. If you want that answer you’re gonna have to ask him.”
With a 1-1 count, Bautista took a borderline strike up and in. He walked away from the batter’s box clearly displeased. Bautista was still talking when he came back to the plate, and Meals decided he had enough.
Bautista said he wasn’t arguing balls and strikes, but that he felt Davis was balking and Meals had failed to recognize it. He also felt Meals antagonized him into the ejection.
“I’m shocked because, what I said, I feel wasn’t worthy of an ejection,” Bautista said. “He pretty much went out of his way a lot to confront me when I said what I said. I didn’t mention the strike zone. I didn’t say curse words. I simply said that the pitcher was not coming to a stop because his leg kept moving and that he started to deliver without coming to a full stop, and he apparently didn’t want to hear it.”
Justin Smoak replaced Bautista and flied out to center to end the inning.