D-backs’ Lovullo: Poor word choice angered Yadier Molina

Apr 8, 2018, 2:46 PM | Updated: Apr 10, 2018, 1:52 pm

After some early inning fireworks, which led to the ejection of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, the D-backs stole the rubber match of a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Following Lovullo’s ejection, both benches cleared in the second inning after an argument between the manager and umpire Tim Timmons was interrupted by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who was trying to get in the face of Lovullo.

“I just was going out there to talk about something with the umpire. I was referencing something (Molina did) and was referencing something and used a poor choice of words and he took offense to it. It really wasn’t directed at him,” Lovullo said after the game.

“I just said, ‘What’s going on here?’ and maybe threw in a really description adjective.”

Lovullo was already ejected from the game before Molina approached him, pointing at the D-backs manager and yelling before attempting to cross the umpire with a lunge.

“I don’t want to say he is getting more (calls) than anyone else, because it’s part of the game,” Lovullo said. “I have the utmost respect for Yadier Molina. He’s one of the best catchers the game has ever seen. It was more of me saying, I respect him on that level, that he’s getting special things because he’s that good. That’s where I was coming from.”

Despite the ejection, Lovullo became the fastest manager in D-backs history to earn 100 wins.

After the game, Molina criticized Lovullo calling him an expletive when referring to the catcher earning what the manager believes were balls instead of strikes.

“He said a bad word to me and I reacted that way,” Molina said, per the Associated Press. “He called me (it) twice. You can’t allow that.”

Molina remained in the game despite attempting to charge Lovullo through Timmons.

“So when Lovullo got to me after I had ejected him, he made a comment that was aggressive that Yadi overheard, so that’s why Yadi reacted the way that he did,” Timmons told reporters. “I think at that point Yadi became agitated, which was understandable. (The contact) was just incidental.”

The D-backs won the pitchers duel by a score of 4-1 on a cold 43-degree day in St. Louis.

Trailing 1-0 in the seventh, David Peralta singled home A.J. Pollock to tie the game. Peralta then gave the D-backs the lead with a two-run home run the next inning.

Peralta gave his take on the Lovullo ejection after the game.

“It happens, it’s part of the game. We forgot about the umpires and everything. And, look, we got the win,” said Peralta after the game.

A solo homer by Pollock three batters later gave the D-backs an added insurance run, Pollock’s first home run of the season.

The Cardinals’ only run came on a Kolten Wong RBI in the fifth inning. Luke Weaver started the game for the Cardinals, throwing 6.1 innings, striking out seven and giving up just one earned run.

Taijuan Walker picked up a quality start for the D-backs, pitching six innings of one-run baseball.

Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger all pitched scoreless innings in the seventh, eighth and ninth to shut the door on the Cardinals.

Hirano earned the win for the D-backs, the first of his career.

Up next

The D-backs head to San Francisco for a three-game set with the Giants. The division rivals were 4-3 on the season and in second place in the West behind the D-backs.

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