Tampa Bay Rays
Rays' Joyce: Lackey's actions 'bush league'
ST. PETERSBURG -
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon and right fielder Matt Joyce had some harsh words for Red Sox pitcher John Lackey after Lackey hit Joyce in the back with a pitch in the sixth inning of Boston's 10-8, 14-inning victory Monday at Tropicana Field.
Joyce, who homered off Lackey in the first inning, appeared to have caught the ire of Lackey after he drove a 3-0 pitch well down the right field foul line in the second inning.
Joyce dropped his bat at home plate after hitting the ball. Lackey then yelled at Joyce after Joyce grounded out to end the inning.
"Obviously, Lackey was upset about the 3-0 swing and yelled at me when I was running down to first base," Joyce said. "As far as I understood he was pretty upset that I dropped my bat on that 3-0 swing. I was actually pretty upset myself I had such a good pitch to hit and missed it. I usually never drop the bat.
"Honestly, I felt like it was a pretty bush league move (by Lackey). I think it was very obvious. I'd really rather not get too much into it, but obviously I wasn't too happy about it."
Maddon said he had no doubt Lackey intentionally threw at Joyce.
"That's because of Matt Joyce swinging at a 3-0 pitch in the (second) inning when we're trying to come from behind," Maddon said. "He took offense to that, which I found rather amusing, and I am upset because I always consider him a friend, and I still want to consider him a friend, but when it comes to baseball, us playing them, that was really an inappropriate gesture on his part."
Maddon knows Lackey from their days with the Angels and spoke fondly about their relationship before the game.
"The sad part is I always considered Lackey a good teammate," Maddon said after the game. "But right there he can get one of his own players hurt. I really did sense among the group of Red Sox that they were totally not into that moment, cause they knew it was inappropriate to hit Matt on purpose and furthermore because one of them could get hurt.
"So that's being a bad teammate as far as I'm concerned. In the past he was always a good teammate. That was really a bad moment for him tonight."
Lackey denied throwing at Joyce.
"I was just trying to come in there and get him off the plate a little bit," Lackey said. "They were swinging quite a bit at pretty much everything I threw up there. I was trying to get a little bit of the plate for me."
Red Sox manager John Farrell said there was no intent on Lackey's part to hit Joyce.
"He was trying to throw the ball in, off the plate, obviously," Farrell said. "There was no intent to hit him. Their guys took some good swings tonight on Lackey's fastball, and he was just trying to create a little openness on the outside of the plate and obviously the pitch got away from him."
Joel Peralta, who pitched the seventh inning for the Rays, threw his first pitch high and tight to Dustin Pedroia.
"As far as the (Rays-Red Sox) rivalry, it's a big game," Joyce said. "It's a game everyone wants to win and emotions get involved, and when emotions get involved, I guess things tend to happen."