SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says he regrets his choice of words that set off St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and triggered a benches-clearing incident.
Lovullo came out of the dugout to argue with plate umpire Tim Timmons in St. Louis on Sunday, blaming the umpire for a called third strike he claimed was influenced by the All-Star catcher's pitch framing.
Lovullo used a profanity that set off Molina, and the manager was ejected.
''I said what I said,'' Lovullo explained Monday. ''I made a mistake with some of the wording that I chose. I think the one message that I want to say is that I respect Yady, I think he's one of the best catchers in baseball. Has been for a long time.''
Lovullo was arguing a called third strike on A.J. Pollock leading off the second inning. He had not liked a called third strike against David Peralta starting the game.
The Arizona manager said he praised Molina while using a profanity and said ''but he can't turn balls into strikes.''
Molina's version was ''he said a bad word to me and I reacted that way. He called me (it) twice. You can't allow that.''
''I know he was frustrated with what I said, and I can't blame him,'' Lovullo said. ''I was giving him more of a compliment in saying that he's very good and didn't necessarily follow through, to execute the right way of my words to tell that that's what I was thinking.''
Lovullo had not tried to reach out to Molina.
''I just want everything to settle down and go away,'' the manager said. ''I know that it's a big story. It happened, and I can see why it's a big story, I'm not trying to downplay it, I just want the dust to settle a little bit and think through it through a really clearer lens.''
Lovullo said he expects to be fined for the ejection.
'''ll deal with the consequences,'' he said.
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