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Hector Santiago's ejection sparks anger among Angels

Hector Santiago's ejection sparks anger among Angels
Angels starterHector Santiagowas ejected from Friday night's game in the third inning. (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images)

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia became enraged when his starting pitcher, Hector Santiago, was ejected from the third inning of Friday's game against Baltimore. He remained angry two-plus hours later, when he began his postgame news conference by fielding a question about the ejection.

He first said he was given no explanation for the decision.

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He then clarified: "In fact, the explanation wasn't what happened, so I'm not very happy about it."

The next afternoon, he said he felt the same way, and intended to seek further information from Major League Baseball.

"We will definitely get some insights as to the guidelines," Scioscia said. "You can discipline a pitcher. You can tell him to get on the mound. Hector was on the mound ready to go and was ejected from the game. It was unwarranted, and I think umpires know the ramifications of throwing a starting pitcher out of a game."

The issue seems to stem from one moment. Scioscia and Santiago each acknowledged that the 28-year-old left-hander yelled punishable words at home plate umpire John Tumpane. But, after receiving a warning from Tumpane, Santiago said he then yelled at catcher Carlos Perez, "Let's go!"

That was when Tumpane tossed him, from behind the plate. It took Santiago several seconds to understand he had been ejected, he said.

Before Saturday's game, Baltimore Manager Buck Showalter sided with his counterpart, adding an argument that Scioscia had not made.

"If a hitter had had done that, exact same reaction, would he have been thrown out of the game?" Showalter asked. "No. No. He would not have. There's a separate code. If a hitter questions balls and strikes he gets some leeway. Pitcher gets no leeway. So Mike's right."

Showalter said he was unsure what all Santiago said.

"Exactly how it went down, I can't say," he said. "I just know that hitters are given more leeway than pitchers. I think it's kind of unfair to pitchers sometimes."

The crew chief of the umpires, Dale Scott, said Santiago was specifically given additional leeway — two warnings — because he was a starting pitcher.

"First of all," Scott said, "you don't ever have to warn them. But if you warn them once, warn them twice, and they still continue to say things, you're gonna get in real jeopardy of being ejected."

Scott umpired behind the plate Saturday and did so without any early incidents.

Bandy starts

Catcher Jett Bandy arrived at Angel Stadium during Wednesday's fifth inning after receiving late word he'd been called up. He had just arrived in Oklahoma City on a triple-A day off when the Angels' Geovany Soto hurt his knee.

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The 26-year-old from West Hills earned his first big league start Saturday.

When Bandy was 8, he played third base for Thousand Oaks youth league, coached by none other than Scioscia.

Bandy was not on a major league trajectory through his first three professional seasons. When he repeated double A in 2014, his offense improved dramatically — and, according to Scioscia, his defense.

"He has turned into a terrific defensive catcher," Scioscia said.

Short hops

The Angels designated right-hander Al Alburquerque for assignment Saturday. It could put an end to his unusual career with the team, after the veteran was signed to be part of the team's major league bullpen. He lost out on an opening day bullpen spot to Cam Bedrosian, and then was repeatedly passed over when injuries struck. …

Alburquerque's designation cleared a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Deolis Guerra, a December Rule 5 pick who also did not make the Angels' roster out of spring training but had an appendectomy and spent a month in extended spring training. After five scoreless innings over three appearances, Guerra earned a call-up Saturday, taking the 25-man spot of right-hander A.J. Achter, who was sent back down to triple-A Salt Lake after Friday night's game. … Left fielder Craig Gentry started for the second straight night on a rehab assignment with Class-A Inland Empire. He could return to the Angels on Monday in Texas.

Follow Pedro Moura onTwitter: @pedromoura

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