The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros were involved in a hectic eighth inning on Saturday, with right-hander Ryne Stanek and manager Dusty Baker tossed from the contest following a balk that allowed the eventual game-winning run to score during an 8-7 loss.
A heated Stanek had to be restrained by coaching staff as he barked at second base umpire Junior Valentine after he got the final out of the frame. Baker was ejected afterward.
“He got it right,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Valentine’s call, according to The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya.
“Obviously in a game like that, don’t want that to be the deciding run in that situation, but they got the call right. Stanek was trying to look at the pitch clock, trying to step off and call timeout. … His cleat got stuck, but it was a balk, by the letter of the law.”
Baker said umpires didn’t explain the call to him, while Stanek admitted he moved his leg to step off, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Matthew Kawahara.
The ejections followed a strange play that occurred earlier in the inning when James Outman hit a fly ball toward the right-field fence.
Outman’s hit, which at the time would have scored the go-ahead run, stuck to the fence and was ruled a ground-rule double by umpires. This prevented pinch-runner Jonny DeLuca from advancing past third base, although he would later score on Stanek’s balk.
The fence that the ball was stuck to is in close proximity to the bullpen door that New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge crashed through on June 3 while making a spectacular catch. Judge injured his toe during the play and hasn’t played since.
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