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05/14/09 7:00 PM ET
Gardenhire exits with ejection in seventh
Manager tossed after arguing Cuddyer was hit by pitch
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected from Thursday's contest against the Tigers in the seventh inning by home-plate umpire Paul Nauert following an argument about a potential hit-by-pitch call. Gardenhire went out to argue with Nauert after Michael Cuddyer thought a 1-0 pitch from Tigers right-hander Zach Miner caught a piece of the left sleeve of his jersey. Right after the ball grazed by his left shoulder, Cuddyer reacted as if he'd been hit by the pitch. He dropped his bat and began getting ready to trot to first base. But Nauert ruled that the pitch was just a ball and did not hit Cuddyer, and TV replays did not show any evidence of the ball touching the jersey. Gardenhire immediately ran onto the field to argue the call, and following a heated discussion, Nauert threw Gardenhire out of the game. It was the first ejection of the season for the Twins manager and the 42nd of his career. "If he hadn't got hit with a ball, he would not have reacted like that and dropped the bat," Gardenhire said. "I know that for a fact with Michael Cuddyer. ... He wants to hit. The umpire said he didn't see it." Despite the fact that the replays didn't make it look like he got hit, Cuddyer said that he had his own audio evidence that it did. "I think a lot of people heard it," Cuddyer said of the ball hitting his sleeve. "Unfortunately, the umpire didn't." Gardenhire's ejection came right after the Twins had pulled within one run of the Tigers on Jason Kubel's ground-rule double. Cuddyer eventually drew a walk from Miner to load the bases as Minnesota completed a six-run comeback in the inning to take a 6-5 lead over Detroit.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.