La Russa has no problem with Twins throwing behind Mercedes

Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins reliever Tyler Duffey was ejected Tuesday night after throwing behind White Sox designated hitter Yermín Mercedes.

With one out in the seventh and the White Sox up 4-2, Mercedes came to the plate and Duffey threw the first pitch behind the slugger’s legs. Duffey and manager Rocco Baldelli then were ejected by plate umpire Jim Reynolds.

The Twins then rallied for a 5-4 victory.

“There were no warnings,” Baldelli said. “The umpires got together. They made a decision that, obviously, if they threw him out of the game, they made the decision that they thought it was intentional on Duff’s end. We were due to pitch Yermín, who’s been very good against us, in and crowd him some too. That’s the way it played out. They threw him out of the game and we have to live with that, but it doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.”

Mercedes had Minnesota’s attention after he homered in the ninth inning of Chicago’s 16-4 victory on Monday night, driving a 3-0 pitch from infielder Willians Astudillo deep to center. White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Mercedes made a mistake, and the Hall of Fame skipper apologized to the Twins.

“There’s one thing acknowledging it, and that’s appreciated, but it doesn’t quell all of the emotions from all the guys in the clubhouse, in and of itself,” Baldelli said before Tuesday’s game.

La Russa said he didn’t question whether Duffey’s pitch was intentional or not.

“It wasn’t obvious to me. Guy threw a sinker. It didn’t look good. I wasn’t that suspicious. I’m suspicious if somebody throws at somebody’s head. I don’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that.”

White Sox beat reporters pressed La Russa on the incident, asking if he thought Minnesota did it the right way because of where the pitch was thrown.

“What did they do? Guy might have been just trying to get a sinker in. You don’t read minds. I’m not going to read their mind. I also don’t second guess the umpire when it’s his judgment.”

There was no sign of any trouble before Duffey’s pitch in the seventh.

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