The White Sox were tossed out of first place Sunday, but they issued a warning and eventually got an apology as a consolation prize.
After a 14-3 blowout loss to the Royals, manager Ozzie Guillen expressed disbelief over the ejection of reliever D.J. Carrasco and himself after Miguel Olivo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded during a five-run fifth inning.
"Some people have to have a little common sense," Guillen said of the umpiring crew.
Umpires initially ruled that Carrasco had intentionally thrown at Olivo, sparking a bench-clearing incident in which Carrasco landed a soft punch on Olivo and Olivo retaliated at Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was trying to play peacemaker.
"I know we were losing [but] we don't pull that stuff," Pierzynski said. "Ozzie doesn't play like that, we don't play like that, this organization doesn't play like that. We're not going to start hitting guys."
After watching the videotape, umpire Gary Cederstrom issued an apology in the Sox's coaches' office. But that came after Guillen had criticized the umpiring crew and had threatened the Royals after the latest in a series of incidents.
"This time they kicked our [rears]," Guillen said after the loss knocked the Sox out of first place in the AL Central for the first time since May 16. They are a half-game behind the Twins.
"But be ready for the warning because I signed a five-year deal with this club, and we're going to play Kansas City a lot. I don't say be careful. They played with fire, and I respect everyone on the pro level. But enough is enough."
The recent history dates to June 4, when Sox reliever Octavio Dotel apologized to Jose Guillen and Olivo after hitting them accidentally. That was followed by the drilling of five Sox players two weekends ago.
Guillen erupted when the umpires contended that Carrasco had been brought in to hit Olivo in the midst of a blowout.
"You think I'm going to bring in somebody to hit somebody with an 82 mile-an-hour fastball?" Guillen asked, incredulous. "I'm going to bring in my best guy and make sure we get it done. That's the baseball I grew up with, not the [stuff] we play with right now."
Guillen said he and his players noticed Mark Teahen trying to bunt with the Royals ahead 6-0 but elected not to do anything because the Sox were losing by a convincing margin.
"We didn't even hit him," Guillen said. "I should have, to teach them a lesson on how to play baseball."
Olivo caught for the Sox in 2004. Several pitchers told Guillen they preferred throwing to veteran Sandy Alomar Jr. because of concern about Olivo's pitch selection.
Carrasco denied hitting Olivo intentionally, saying he was trying to throw sinkers inside.
In the seventh, Royals pitcher Zack Greinke was ejected after hitting Nick Swisher on the right side. Manager Trey Hillman also was tossed because warnings had been issued.
Apology or not, the Sox have lost six of their last eight.
Sox starting pitchers have made a recent habit of blowing multiple-run leads or falling behind, as they did by a 6-0 deficit after three innings Sunday behind rookie lefty Clayton Richard.