|Alfredo Aceves after hitting Sean Rodriguez: ‘It was obviously not intentional’||03.16.13 at 4:56 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Following an incident where Alfredo Aceves got into a shouting match with Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez after the Red Sox hit the Rays’ hitter with a fifth-inning pitch, Red Sox manager John Farrell told him there was no intent behind the offering.
“When I asked Alfredo about it, he said he threw a split and it got away from him,” Farrell told reporters after the Red Sox’ 9-2 win over Tampa Bay in Port Charlotte. “I can tell you this: We don’t intentionally look to hit any hitters in any situations.”
Aceves was replaced by Andrew Miller after the pitch, that prompted both team to climb the top steps of their respective dugouts. Rodriguez ultimately took a step toward Aceves after running down to first before being restrained by Tampa Bay first base coach Dave Myers.
Two innings before, Rodriguez had hit a two-run homer against Aceves. The only history between the pitcher and Rays’ hitter that would lead to suspicion came on May 27 last season when Rodriguez hit a ninth-inning, two-run homer which ultimately gave Tampa Bay a 4-3 win.
“He was done. We had Miller ready to go,” Farrell said of replacing Aceves. “That was by design with the three lefties coming up. That was the spot for him to get some work today. Whether or not he got Rodriguez out, he was coming out of the game. I can’t stress enough that it’s something we’re not looking to intentionally do there.”
Aceves, who allowed two runs on six hits over four innings, reiterated the message he relayed to Farrell regarding the incident.
“He got hit, by a pitch. It was obviously not intentional,” Aceves told reporters. “The score was 3-2. Plus, it was a split-finger. Not even a fastball.
“He was made because he got hit. It was obviously, like I said, not intentional. I understand his last at-bat he hit a homer. He probably thinks it was intentional. Like I said, 3-2 ballgame, you don’t want to get nobody on the bases and tie the game. Plus, like I say, it was a split-finger. I understand he’s probably upset or frustrated.”
Offensive standouts for the Red Sox in the win were Mauro Gomez, Lyle Overbay and Blake Swihart, who each notched two RBIs apiece. (It was the first ‘A Game’ for the 20-year-old Swihart.)
Pitching perfect innings were Andrew Bailey and Daniel Bard, both of whom struck out one batter.
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