A series of bizarre events in Thursday’s game between the Red Sox and Royals resulted in Boston manager Alex Cora getting tossed from the game, seemingly mid-sentence by home plate umpire Bill Welke.
The issue began in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Red Sox trailing Kansas City 4-3 and two Royals on base. Catcher Salvador Pérez launched a line-driver down the left-field line, where it appeared to graze the foul pole and bounce back into the field of play.
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An umpire review resulted in the hit being ruled a home run, and photo evidence does appear to support that ruling (barely). With that, the Royals took a 7-3 lead, which ended up being the final score of the game.
Following the review, Cora appeared dissatisfied with the umpires’ explanation of their ruling. As noted via Boston.com, the Red Sox broadcast on NESN reported the crew could not explain whether the ball was fair or foul, resulting in a discussion between Cora and Welke.
What started out as a routine discussion turned into a bizarre ejection: Welke clearly didn’t like something Cora said, even though the latter appeared perfectly calm in his conversation with the plate umpire. Cora naturally was shocked at the ejection, and stayed on the field for several moments to argue.
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 threw me out. It happens, I guess.”
The Red Sox manager said afterward he did think the ball was fair, just not a home run. He also didn’t blame the outcome of the game on the call. (Even if the ball had been ruled a double or triple, the Royals would have had a 6-3 or 5-3 lead; the outcome wouldn’t have changed either way, considering Boston did not score another run).
“That didn’t decide the game,” Cora added. “We walked the ninth hitter twice, he got on base three times. We got two lefties there that we have to do a better job. We have to be better. We cannot rely on three or four guys. It’s a total team effort.”
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.