BALTIMORE — The debate whether right-hander Jason Hammel intentionally threw at Detroit Tigers left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo’s head was markedly one-sided in both clubhouses following the the Orioles’ ugly 10-3 loss Saturday.
Both dugouts agreed Hammel had no intent to harm Tuiasosopo in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game. The umpires didn’t entirely disagree but claimed that Hammel — intentionally or not — forced them to prevent a wild game from getting out of hand.
After allowing three consecutive solo home runs to the Tigers in the fourth inning, Hammel’s next pitch — an 82-mph slider — sailed out of his hand and toward Tuiasosopo’s head, hitting him on the left shoulder as he ducked away from the pitch.
Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt took off his mask and immediately threw his right hand in the air, ejecting Hammel from the game. Hammel emphatically threw his arms out, and he walked from the mound to the plate, repeatedly yelling to Wendelstedt that the pitch wasn’t intentional — that it was a slider gone awry.
“Zero intent there to hit him, and obviously I give up three home runs, but I’m not the guy that answers getting hit around with hitting somebody,” Hammel said. “That’s bush league if you ask me. It was a mistake. . . . I understand his position. I still don’t understand why he threw me out. That was the quickest toss I’ve ever seen.”
On a muggy afternoon at Camden Yards, Hammel said he struggled with getting a feel for the ball with the constant sweat developing on his hands. He walked three batters through his first two innings, and not even the best rosin bag was going to help his grip.
— Baltimore Sun