The slur came after Motte struck out Pillar to end the seventh inning, but Pillar apparently felt he had been quick-pitched, which caused both benches and bullpens to empty.
After the game, Pillar was apologetic and said he was merely frustrated at Toronto’s third straight loss to Atlanta.
“It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for,” Pillar told the Toronto Sun. “It’s part of the game, it’s just I’m a competitive guy and (it was) heat of the moment.
“Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let him know he didn’t do anything wrong. It was all me.”
On Thursday, Pillar again apologized while more or less admitting that he used some sort of homophobic slur.
The Blue Jays also issued a statement:
That wasn’t the only bit of drama, however, to happen during the Braves’ 8-4 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Before that, Braves first baseman and National League home run leader Freddie Freeman left the game in the fifth inning after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup.
After undergoing further examination Thursday, Freeman will be out for the foreseeable future.
Freeman not only leads the NL in home runs with 14, but he ranks second in on-base percentage (.457), third in slugging percentage (.754), fifth in walks (26) and sixth in batting average (.343). The two-time all-star also suffered a right wrist injury in 2015 and needed multiple stints on the disabled list. Wednesday night’s injury was to the inside of Freeman’s left hand, just above the wrist.
“When the best hitter in the game goes out and he’s on our team, it really sucks,” Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after his team’s 8-4 victory.
No one on the Braves is saying Loup’s inside pitch was intentional, but that didn’t stop it from generating bad blood.
One inning after Pillar’s outburst and with his team down 8-3, Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit a solo home run and followed it with a stare-down of Braves pitcher Eric O’Flaherty and his trademark bat flip. The benches and the bullpens emptied again.
“That’s something making the game tough to watch,” O’Flaherty said via the AP. “It’s turned into look-at-me stuff. He hit a home run with [the Braves holding] a five-run lead and throws the bat around. I’m just tired of it. I’ve seen it from him enough.”
Bautista said the bat flip was somehow appropriate.
“I understand why (the Braves) would be upset in that situation and I just told them how I felt,” he told the Sun. “Basically just let them know that I wasn’t trying to show up anybody and hopefully it’s in the past. It has nothing to do with (frustration) but it was definitely not something that was fitting for the moment.”
The two teams finish their four-game home-and-home series Thursday night.