MINNEAPOLIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — Swept at home for the first time this season, the Minnesota Twins lost their division lead over the Kansas City Royals.
Torii Hunter lost his cool, and even part of his outfit.
Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer, Edinson Volquez struck out six batters over seven innings and the Royals beat the Twins 7-2 on Wednesday, a night spiced up in the eighth inning by an ejection of Hunter that preceded his equipment-throwing tantrum.
“Just a lot of emotions, man,” said Hunter, whose team scored only 11 runs while stumbling to a 1-5 record on this home-stand. The Twins hadn’t been swept at all since the opening series of the season at Detroit.
The frustration was evident in the eighth, when Hunter was heaved by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger for arguing a called third strike. Hunter had to be restrained briefly, before yanking off his elbow pad, shin guard and batting gloves and throwing them toward the batter’s box.
For good measure, the five-time All-Star ripped off his jersey and threw that over the first-base line, before retreating to the dugout.
“We have bad days, all of us, as hitters, pitchers. Even umpires have bad days, and he had one. So what can you do?” Hunter said.
Manager Paul Molitor was given his first career ejection during the conflict, too.
“I became a sideshow to the big show, from what I hear,” Molitor said. “But those things, they happen in a game. They happen with different umpires, good umpires, and we’ll just move on.”
Manager Ned Yost called Hunter’s outburst “a bit entertaining.”
“A lot of times you just see yelling and screaming and they walk off. There was some strip teasing going on there,” Yost quipped.
Hunter’s ejection might have been entertaining, but it won’t be a laughing matter to the Twins and their struggling offense if he’s suspended by Major League Baseball.
“I don’t want to try to predict or speculate how league offices are going to respond to his actions,” Molitor said. “I’m sure it will be reviewed and concerned as to whether a suspension is appropriate or not.”
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