Jeff Francoeur of the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium....

Jeff Francoeur of the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium. (May 10, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

A.J. Burnett claims he was not throwing at Jeff Francoeur when he hit the former Met in the back with a pitch in the sixth inning on Wednesday night.

Francoeur thinks he might have been – and said it’s OK if he was.

“The only reason I thought he did was he was missing out over the plate all night and the first one is kind of high and in but at the same time, whether he was or not, that’s part of the game,” Francoeur said after the Royals’ 4-3, 11-inning win over the Yankees, according to “We hit their five hitter in the head, so I know A.J. and even if he did, he did it professionally and hit me in the back and that was it. I got no problem with that. It’s part of the game and that’s how it is.”

Francoeur was referring to Robinson Cano, who had to leave the game after getting hit in the helmet by a fastball from rookie Nathan Adcock in the fifth. Cano had a CT scan after the game, which a Yankees spokesman said was negative.

Burnett denied he was throwing at Francoeur because a) he was wild and b) the game situation (man on first, Yankees holding one-run lead) meant retaliation was not a good idea.

“I don’t think anybody wants to hit a guy with a runner on and one out and a one-run lead,” Burnett said. “The thing of it is, I know Jeff too, so that’s even worse -- when you know somebody and you end up hitting him. But, you know, balls get away. I had [five] walks tonight, so I wasn’t exactly pinpoint.”

Royals manager Ned Yost said, “Of course it was [intentional]. Adcock is a rookie. We didn’t hit Cano [on purpose]. Cano’s a great player and that was an absolute accident. I didn’t think Burnett hitting Francoeur was an accident. That’s the way the game goes sometimes.”

After Burnett hit Francoeur, both benches were warned. There were no further incidents.
“At the end of the day I know what type of guy A.J. is,” Francoeur said. "I know for sure if he did do it, he did it professionally and it was done with.”

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