Zach Britton took a shot at Dustin Pedroia. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)
After Orioles third baseman Manny Machado took out Dustin Pedroia at second base Friday night, the Red Sox appeared to seek revenge on Sunday.
Reliever Matt Barnes’ fastball in the eighth inning went behind Machado’s head and he was immediately ejected from the game. The Red Sox reliever said he didn’t mean for the pitch to end up where it did.
“People are going to think what they want,” Barnes told reporters after the game “All I know was I was trying to go up and in, trying to get some weak contact with [Adam] Jones on first. Unfortunately one got away from me, and like I said I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing and that’s unacceptable.”
Afterwards, Pedroia didn’t appear to be thrilled with what Barnes did.
“I just told him I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Pedroia said. “That’s not how you do that, man. I’m sorry to him and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it right away. ”
“It’s definitely a mishandled situation,” he added. “There was zero intention of [Machado] trying to hurt me. He just made a bad slide. He did hurt me. It’s baseball, man. I’m not mad at him. I love Manny Machado. I love playing against him. I love watching him. If I slid into third base and got Manny’s knee, I know I’m going to get drilled. That’s baseball. I get drilled, and I go to first base. That’s it.”
Word of Pedroia’s comments got over to the Orioles clubhouse where closer Zach Britton, who is currently on the disabled list, took a shot at Pedroia and his leadership.
“Dustin, him telling Manny, ‘Hey, that didn’t come from me’ may be even more frustrating,” Britton told BaltimoreBaseball.com. “Because he’s the leader of that clubhouse and if he can’t control his own teammates, then there’s a bigger issue over there.”
Added Britton: “As a player that doesn’t have the most service time in this room, when a guy like Adam Jones tells me to do something or not to do something, I’m going to do [what he says]. Same with Chris Davis or Darren O’Day, the guy in my bullpen. If they tell me, ‘Don’t do this or that,’ I’m going to listen to them because they’ve been around the game and they’ve seen things I haven’t seen. And you respect their leadership.”
This doesn’t appear to be over between the two teams and they will meet a week from Monday at Fenway Park.