The bad blood developing between the Oakland A's and Houston Astros spilled over into its second weekend and nearly came to a head on Friday night in Houston.
The first eight innings featured an intense and well played game that didn't hint at any animosity. However, that changed in the ninth inning when the A's batted around and scored seven times en route to a 12-5 victory. During the course of the inning, Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch twice, which quite frankly caught the attention of Oakland's dugout. Especially the second one, which followed Josh Donaldson's two-run homer.
The umpires elected to not get involved at that point, which is questionable judgment considering the simmering feud taking place before them. With that in mind, more fuel was thrown on the fire in the bottom half of the inning when A's reliever Fernando Abad plunked Houston catcher Jason Castro.
“If you’re going to toss our guy yesterday, it looked pretty intentional to me,” Porter said. “It’s a judgment call on the umpire’s part, and he didn’t think it was intentional. I said my piece and what I thought, and he threw me out of the game.”
The obvious difference between the situations being that Clemens and Lowrie actually had some history going back to April 18 in Oakland. On that night, Porter and the Astros took exception to Jed Lowrie bunting against a defensive shift with the A's already leading 7-0 in the first inning. The next time Lowrie came to bat, he was brushed back twice by Paul Clemens, which set up their underlying storyline.
Also on that night, Porter said the following:
"Nothing happened, the game takes care of itself."
Words that could easily be interpreted as, "we'll take care of it when the time is right," which explains why Oakland was so unhappy about Lowrie getting hit on Thursday.
If the game taking care of itself is the theme we're playing with, then both teams should have a clean slate heading into Saturday and beyond. Lowrie received his message on Thursday. The A's gave their formal response on Friday. It's done.
Only time will tell if that's how it plays out, but perhaps the words everyone needs to remember are that actions speak louder than words, and it's time for everybody to actually show they can move on.
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