09/18/07 3:05 AM ET
Fiery Rays pack plenty of punch in loss
Maddon tossed, Upton steals home, Jackson allows 14 hits
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Monday night, the Rays manager got ejected in the seventh inning of the Rays' 10-7 loss to Maddon's old team, the Angels, in front of a crowd of 37,530 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Earlier in the game, umpire Mark Wegner blew a call at first base that helped fuel the Angels' three-run second. Then in the seventh Jon Gomes got called out by Wegner on a checked swing.
Gomes made his way back to the dugout, all the while staring down at Wegner but never saying a word. If looks could kill ...
Maddon quickly turned his attention to Wegner and shortly thereafter he was ejected by home-plate umpire Bruce Froemming.
"The check swing, I was not arguing the check swing," Maddon said. "I was arguing the fact I felt the umpire was spending too much time in the dugout."
The question came: "Physically?"
Maddon smiled: "Emotionally, in a sense."
Maddon added that he did not dwell on the Wegner's missed call in the second, of which replays clearly showed that Angels runner Nathan Haynes got thrown out by a half a step at first only to be ruled safe.
"I let that one go, I was respectful," Maddon said. "Everybody makes mistakes. I was respectful of the decision and we moved on. [The argument] was based on a visual confrontation between Jon and the umpire."
Gomes was asked if Maddon's "visual confrontation" was the right description of what happened and he answered: "I think he's right on. I think he's right on. Who blinks first? I had nothing to say. I was the one who was mad. I was the one who struck out. I didn't say a word, and Joe being a good manager wanted to say some words. I didn't have anything to say."
For Maddon, the ejection was the sixth of his career and the third coming in games between the Rays and the Angels, a team the Rays have not beaten here in six tries during Maddon's tenure as the Rays manager.
Maddon's departure personified the Rays' woes Monday night as they once again put runs on the board in an offensive display that featured B.J. Upton's steal of home, but they couldn't come away with the win.
Upton's steal came in the third and put the Rays back on top, 4-3.
Brendan Harris was at bat and ahead in the count, 2-1, against Angels starter Kelvim Escobar.
"He got in the windup," Upton said. "The first pitch he threw he took a look at me and he was kind of slow. I came back and told [third-base coach Tom] Foley, I said, 'Foley, I can get him.' And I think Joe kind of knew. And the next pitch, Joe gave me the go. I got out there, and he kind of took a peek, went into his windup and I took off."
Upton scored easily on an impact play that would have sparked the team on many a night, just not on this particular Monday night.
The momentum from Upton's steal "went away," Maddon said.
After falling behind, 4-3, the Angels scored two in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 10-6 lead.
For the sixth time in the Rays' last eight games, they chased the opposing starter before he could finish the fifth inning. Escobar departed in the fifth after Akinori Iwamura singled, Greg Norton doubled, and Carlos Pena walked to load the bases with no outs. Upton's ground ball scored one and Young hit into a fielder's choice to drive home the Rays' second run and tie the score at 6.
"This whole road trip we've been knocking out starters left and right and not getting wins," Maddon said. "And that's really discouraging. Right now we're playing at a pretty high level on offense."
Like Escobar, Edwin Jackson did not make it out of the fifth, leaving after 4 2/3 innings having surrendered seven runs -- of which just four were earned -- on 14 hits, thereby earning the dubious distinction of tying a team record for the most hits given up by a Rays starter in one game.
"Tonight they just got us," Maddon said. "They beat up our starter."
Jackson couldn't argue with his manager's assessment.
"The ball was just up," Jackson said. "They were over the plate, but they were just up. The ball was up they hit it. Some balls were down, they hit it."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.