Houston’s Lance Berkman is facing a two-game suspension, but that doesn’t seem to have affected his temperament.
A day after Berkman was ejected for the second time this week, the Astros (25-35) continue their three-game series with the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Berkman was ejected during the fourth inning of Houston’s 5-2 win over Chicago (26-31) on Friday after arguing a strike call. Berkman tried to go back to the plate, but was stopped by teammate Carlos Lee, and manager Phil Garner also was ejected on the appeal.
Afterward, Berkman, who is hitting .241 and finished the night hitless in two at-bats, seemed less than apologetic about the situation.
“I clearly wasn’t talking to (home plate umpire Sam Holbrook). I was talking to Garner,” Berkman said. “I didn’t realize you could get thrown out of a game for talking to your manager, but apparently you can. … I’m more baffled than I am upset.”
Berkman is already appealing a two-game suspension he earned after being ejected in Tuesday’s win at Colorado after arguing a third strike call. He threw his glove and a bat onto the field from the dugout and later violated the rules by returning in the ninth inning when the benches emptied after Lee was hit by a pitch.
“I’ve had two really quick ejections and both times I’m wondering what exactly it was that they took umbrage with,” Berkman said. “The only thing I can think of is that if you know you’re wrong, you get really defensive. Maybe they didn’t like the fact that attention was being brought to a questionable call.”
Berkman was replaced on Friday by Luke Scott in right field. Scott drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
Houston has split its last eight games following a 10-game losing streak.
The Astros will hand the ball to Jason Jennings (0-1, 3.13 ERA) on Saturday for his fifth start this year and the first of his career against Chicago.
After being put on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow, the right-hander has failed to receive a decision in two starts since being activated on May 29. He lasted six innings on Sunday against the Cardinals, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings of a 8-6, 10-inning loss.
The White Sox, who are batting a major league-worst .233, have lost four straight and 11 of 13.
“I think I’ve run out of quotes, run out of what I want to say. To see this every day is just amazing. I don’t know how to put it together. … Everything is going the way it’s not supposed to go,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Chicago starter Jon Garland (4-3, 3.61) is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in six starts since the beginning of May after going winless in five April outings. He pitched 8 1-3 innings to beat the New York Yankees on Monday, allowing two runs - one earned - and seven hits in a 6-4 win.
Garland is making his third overall start against the Astros, failing to receive a decision last year and in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series. He has a combined 5.25 ERA over those two starts.