Mild-mannered Nelson Cruz talked about his second temper flare-up in the past four games, the latest being some choice words for Royals pitcher Louis Coleman and catcher Bryan Pena after getting plunked to start the ninth inning.
Cruz admitted that he might have taken an extended look at his 420-foot homer in his previous at-bat to spark what he believed was an intentional hit by pitch. Pena, Cruz's teammate in the Dominican winter league for several season, said it wasn't intentional.
Both benches and bullpen cleared, and everyone met at home plate as Cruz and Pena jawed.
"He was lying to my face," said Cruz, who was ejected Friday for slamming his bat to the ground after striking out at Cleveland. "I knew they hit me on purpose. They can say whatever they want. I'm not going to do anything. I just told them that’s BS."
Said Pena: "It's part of the game. We were trying to go inside. Cruz is a very strong guy, and I tried to go in and not let him extend his arms. He's one of my good friends, so I hope that he doesn't think that I did that on purpose. It's part of the game. After that, we continued to play the baseball game."
Michael Young followed with a two-run homer on the next pitch and appeared to be fired up. His teammates appeared to be also fired up when they dished out a series of hard high-fives as Young went to the dugout.
Young, though, didn't offer his insights.
"I cared about the fact that it was a two-run game and we needed runs," Young said. "Whatever happened there stays between the lines. I’m not going to talk about it publicly."
-- Jeff Wilson