Carlos Gomez denied threatening Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons during Tuesday’s game, which included ejections of Angels pitcher Brett Oberholtzer and manager Mike Scioscia after both clubs were warned.
Scioscia accused Gomez of threatening Simmons after Gomez was called out on a tag play at second base in the sixth inning. Gomez felt Simmons used his foot and then his leg to block him from keeping his hand on the base.
“First thing I said to him was, ‘Why did you do that? It’s not necessary for you to block the base,’ ” Gomez said. “ ‘If you want to play that type of game I know how to play that type of game.’ ”
Adrian Beltre and Jonathan Lucroy had been hit by pitches in the previous inning but it was clear Angels starter Daniel Wright wasn’t aiming for them. He hit Beltre with a 1-2 pitch and Lucroy with a changeup.
Tensions were taken up a notch when Keone Kela buzzed a pitch by Simmons’ head in the seventh. The umpires immediately warned both benches. During the bottom of the seventh, Scioscia and Rangers third base coach Spike Owens got into it verbally, which brought manager Jeff Banister into the scene, along with the umpires.
In the eighth, Oberholtzer hit Elvis Andrus in the side and he and Scioscia were immediately ejected per the prior warning. Oberholtzer pleaded in vain that he had no intent on hitting Andrus.
“I respect Mike for the job he’s done. He’s done so much more than I have in the game and managing the game of baseball so how could I question anything he has to say,” Banister said. “However, I don’t make assumptions on what other people do on the baseball field.”
Scioscia argued Simmons didn’t block Gomez from the base.
“He wasn’t in Gomez’s way at all,” he said. “When a guy says they’re going to get you for making a play ... when you throw behind a guy’s neck for him making a good play, that’s out of line ... they threw a 97-mile-an-hour fastball at his neck. So, yeah, I’m [annoyed].”
Scioscia thinks the league should get involved over Kela’s pitch.
“I think you have to have respect for this game and understand that when you’re throwing a ball even 91 miles an hour and you’re up at the neck or the head of a hitter, that’s just irresponsible,” he said.
“I think that’s something that you certainly need to police. Last night the intent was very clear, and it’s not anything that should be a part of baseball. We play hard, they play hard, and I think both teams respect that. But what happened last night crossed that line, and that’s a fact.”
▪ Right-handed reliever Tony Barnette is expected to throw his first full bullpen session Friday in Oakland since being sidelined with a strained oblique on Sept. 4.
▪ A.J. Griffin has been ill the past several days and left the park early after leaving Tuesday’s start in the second inning. “He said he could go so we gave him a shot,” Banister said.