BALTIMORE — If the Red Sox were supposed to retaliate for Dustin Pedroia getting spiked on a Manny Machado slide Friday, Pedroia didn’t like the way things went down Sunday.
Matt Barnes threw a pitch at Machado’s head in the eighth inning that sailed behind the Orioles third baseman and hit off his bat. Barnes was ejected immediately.
Pedroia, who has not played since injuring his left leg on the slide, was then seen communicating with Machado from the dugout. He texted him later.
“I just told him [Machado] I had nothing to do with that,” Pedroia said. “I just told him that’s not how you do that. I said sorry to him and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it the right away. And he knows that and both teams know that, so it was definitely a mishandled situation.
“There was zero chance that [Machado] was trying to hurt me. He just made a bad slide and he did hurt me. That’s just 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’d know I’m going to get drilled. It’s baseball. I get drilled, I go to first base. That’s it,” Pedroia said.
Pedroia was definitely standing up for what he perceived to be right.
“I apologized to him [Machado],” Pedroia said.
The rest of the verbiage from the Red Sox clubhouse was the usual stuff about not trying to throw at Machado’s head.
Pedroia said he didn’t have a chance to speak to Barnes about it, but added, “He’s not trying to hit Manny in the head. It’s just a bad situation, man. That’s it. It’s not baseball.”
Barnes said he understood why Machado and the Orioles would be mad at him. The Orioles, meanwhile, were praised by their manager, Buck Showalter, for showing restraint.
“I was impressed with the courage we showed not to retaliate because they all wanted to do something,” Showalter said.
Barnes reiterated that he would never try to hit anyone in the head.
“Yeah I was trying to go in on him,” Barnes said. “The scouting report is all blue inside. If he gets extension he can drive the ball to right field. I’m trying to get in and it got away from me. I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s a line you don’t cross.
“I’m sorry it ended up that high and fortunately it didn’t hit him and he has every right to be mad.”
Video: Barnes throws at Machado
Red Sox manager John Farrell said his argument with the umpires was that once the ball hit the bat, he thought the ball went into fair territory. He said he never disputed home plate umpire Andy Fletcher’s decision to throw Barnes out of the game.
“He’s trying to throw a four-seamer above [Machado’s] hands and the pitch got away from him,” said Farrell. “Any time you see a pitch around the head it’s a dangerous pitch. There’s an area above the hands you’re trying to go to. What I saw when [Machado] ducked out of the way, the ball is in fair territory. They called dead ball immediately, but to me it looked like it was in fair territory.”
Both managers tried to downplay the notion that there was bad blood. Showalter said that only "Barnes and the Lord” knew if he meant to throw at him.
“I would say when you’re facing one of the best hitters in the major leagues you have to make it a little uncomfortable in the box, kind of get it up a little bit,” said Barnes. “People are going to think what they want. I was trying to go up and in and get weak contact. I would never throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing.
“I can see why they’d be upset. Anytime it comes up above the letters to anybody it’s dangerous. I’ll tell Manny I’m sorry. For that, I’m sorry I get up that high on him.”
Machado, who has often come out the villain in these situations, took the high road.
“You never want to get hit in the head intentionally or not,” said Machado, who when asked if he was expecting retaliation said, “I wasn’t expecting anything, no. I thought I did a good slide. That’s on them whatever happened today.”
Machado said his chat with Pedroia would stay private.
“Those thing stay between us,” he said. “We don’t really like to talk about it. We know what happened on the field stays between the lines.”
Video: Pedroia/Machado exchange
It also appeared Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was flirting with hitting Machado when he threw consecutive pitches inside at Machado’s legs in the sixth inning. Machado eventually drew a walk. Two innings later, following Barnes’s ejection, Machado doubled off Joe Kelly.
While the benches didn’t clear, Showalter stood on the field next to Machado until Barnes had exited and Kelly was warming up.
Farrell said the umpires did not forewarn of possible ejections if someone got hit after Machado’s slide Friday night.
We’ll see if there’s “no bad blood” when these teams face one another again May 1 at Fenway.
“There’s a right way and wrong way to do things,” Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman said. “That’s the wrong way to do it. You can kill a guy doing that.”