Red Sox pitcher ejected for plunking A-Rod

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is hit with

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is hit with a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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Two days after Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was plunked by Yankees reliever Mark Melancon, Yankees manager Joe Girardi suspected there might be some retaliation.

Girardi's suspicions were confirmed Saturday after Red Sox pitcher Ramon Ramirez was ejected for hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch.

"Only the individual actually knows the intent, but we expected something to happen and I think it happened," Girardi said after the Yankees' 5-0 win.

Rodriguez, who gave the Yankees a 2-0 win with his walkoff home run in the 15th inning the previous night, ducked to avoid getting beaned by a pitch from Clay Buchholz in the first inning Saturday. Then in the seventh, Rodriguez was pegged in the upper arm after he turned to avoid a fastball high and inside from Ramirez.

Ramirez, who delivered a brushback pitch to previous batter Mark Teixeira, was ejected by home plate umpire Jim Joyce. Ramirez and Francona argued to no avail. They both were surprised at how quickly Ramirez was ejected.

"I didn't understand it," Francona said. "When [the umpire] raised his hand I thought it was a warning and all of the sudden Ramon is out of the game. And he's the guy we wanted to pitch two innings."

Francona said the attention the rivalry produces could've played a role in the hasty ejection of Ramirez, who had never been ejected before Saturday.

"I think this series sometimes gets too much hype and we have no ability to play the game," Francona said. "If guys get thrown out in that situation, we're gonna get guys thrown out three or four times a week."

The Yankees led 2-0 in the seventh with a runner on first when Ramirez hit A-Rod and was immediately tossed out of the game.

"It surprised me," Ramirez told reporters through an interpreter. "I was trying to throw inside and get a double play and the ball went up and in.

"It was worse because I didn't get a warning," Ramirez said. "He just threw [me] out of the game."

However, Joyce said he deemed the pitch worthy of an ejection.

"In my opinion, I thought the pitch was intentional," Joyce said. "It was very high up on Rodriguez, too close for comfort for me. Rodriguez had to turn his shoulder and his head. The pitch was up way too high and in on him not to be intentional."

Joyce said the pitch was an isolated incident and that neither the earlier pitches to Rodriguez and Teixeira nor Thursday night's events factored into his decision. But he did reference Rodriguez's game-winning homer the night before and the series' intensity.

"We had the same player hit a home run [Friday] night. I'm not saying that is what caused it, but that's the perception. He's the one that ended the game," Joyce said.

"You know what the series is like," Joyce told reporters. "It's a tough series. It's tough for everybody, the Yankees, the Red Sox and the umpires."

Joyce said his crew will discuss the possibility of issuing a warning to both teams before the game today and see if the league office calls to express any concern, but that he doubts any action will be taken.

"I don't think we're at that point," Joyce said.

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