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Astros manager A.J. Hinch displeased with D-backs’ triple, obstruction call

The reigning National League Player of the Month keeps finding ways to help the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Trailing 1-0 in the sixth inning Sunday and facing Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock shot the ball to deep center field over the head of George Springer.

Arizona’s Daniel Descalso raced home from first base as Pollock sprinted to third. The Astros’ throw to cut off Pollock at third looked to be on-line, but it bounced off Pollock’s leg and third baseman Alex Bregman wasn’t able to scoop it up. As the ball bounced past him, he got tangled up with Pollock.

Pollock stumbled while attempting to stand up at third and race for home with the ball rolling toward the D-backs’ dugout, and his arm made contact with Bregman’s leg.

Pollock was initially called out at home before the umpires ruled an obstruction call on Bregman. The play was ruled a triple and Pollock was awarded home plate on the play, which gave Arizona a 2-1 lead.

Bregman said Pollock had grabbed his leg, according to MLB.com’s Justin Toscano.

Verlander wondered aloud whether Pollock had taken a hint out of the NBA’s gamesmanship.

But Astros manager A.J. Hinch had a more blunt perspective.

“I saw it as a horse(expletive) rule and bad interpretation,” Hinch said. “It is a free pass to call obstruction any time there’s contact and the fielder, by rule, loses every right that he has. But there’s nothing Bregman can do.

“What do you want him to do? Not go after the ball? You can’t just make yourself disappear.”

The crew chief told a pool reporter after the game that Bregman got in Pollock’s way as Pollock attempted to head for home plate.

“At umpire’s school they teach you that the fielder has to disappear. I know it’s impossible to do, but he has to get out of his way,” umpire Brian Gorman said.

Before the wild play, Descalso was the only D-back to get a hit off Verlander. He was 2-for-2 and walked to begin the sixth inning.

Verlander has been as good as ever this season, posting an American League-best 1.36 ERA with four wins coming into Sunday.

D-backs pitcher Matt Koch did his best to hold down the fort on the other side, going 6.1 innings of one-run ball and working his way out of multiple jams.

He became the first player to pitch against two MVPs  in consecutive starts since 1947.

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