A high-and-tight pitch to Miguel Cabrera on Saturday night in the 10th inning of Detroit's 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was not well received by the Tigers.
Cabrera was upset after Rays closer Fernando Rodney threw a pitch to lead off the inning that Cabrera apparently thought was too close for comfort. While the inning continued after Cabrera struck out and went back to the Tigers' dugout, he clearly yelled in the direction of Rodney and the Rays' dugout.
The Tigers slugger, who went 1-for-4 in the game, would not discuss the incident afterward. But Tigers manager Jim Leyland did not shy away from commenting.
"He was just winding up and throwing it," Leyland said. "I'm not indicating he was trying to throw at him at all. But you've got to know where you're going with it if you're going to throw inside. You can't just be pot-lucking and if it's up in the head area, that's OK. That's not acceptable."
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said there was no malicious intent, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
"It seems like Miguel might have been upset, and I really don't know why, but it looked like he was," Maddon said. ""I was just watching the whole thing. I was kind of surprised actually."
Rodney (3-2), who worked two scoreless innings for the win, dismissed it as part of pitching.
"You have to pitch inside sometimes," Rodney said. "If you pitch, you have to protect the strike zone, you have to pitch inside, outside, everywhere. You don't want to hit nobody because the game is on the line. That's what I have in my mind. I try to move him a little, but because, you know, the guy is a dangerous hitter. I take advantage tonight with that."
Cabrera and Rodney are former teammates with the Tigers in 2008-09.
"He was yelling, I think to the dugout, our dugout," Rodney said. "I don't know what he was saying."
The Rays rallied to win in the bottom of the 10th on Yunel Escobar's RBI single.
The teams meet again Sunday at Tropicana Field and there could be fireworks.
"Somebody pays the price for that throughout baseball," Leyland said. "That's just the way baseball is. That's not free. There's no free lunch. That won't be tolerated. You can take that to the bank."