Manny Machado ejected after striking out on clock violation

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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

SAN DIEGO -- Manny Machado thought he called time as the pitch clock wound down to eight seconds. Plate umpire Ron Kulpa thought otherwise and called an automatic strike three to end the first inning.

The San Diego Padres' star slugger argued, said something that Kulpa didn't like and was ejected.

That was merely the biggest drama of the day for the Padres, who blew a four-run lead and lost 8-6 to the Arizona Diamondbacks after the bullpen melted down while trying to preserve Yu Darvish's decent season debut Tuesday.

Machado became the first player ejected in the regular season for arguing after a timer violation, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Machado was adjusting his batting gloves and called time just before the clock ticked from eight to seven seconds. Batters must be facing the pitcher with eight seconds on the clock under new rules adopted for this season to speed the pace of play. They get one timeout per at-bat.

"I called it. As you can see, my hand was up at eight seconds," Machado said. "I guess it wasn't good enough to get awarded for it."

Asked what he said before getting ejected, Machado said: "That's between me and him."

Manager Bob Melvin also argued with Kulpa as Machado, who was the designated hitter, was escorted toward the dugout by another umpire.

It was the 10th ejection of Machado's big league career.

Machado committed the first pitch clock violation during spring training and shrugged it off after getting two hits that day.

This time it was more serious.

"Obviously, he said I called time too late, that I called it at seven seconds," Machado said. "That's his opinion. I know what I saw and know what I felt. I knew I had enough time to call that timeout and I just didn't get it. Obviously, it's about a feel thing and who's behind the plate and who's going to want to grant it to you. I'm just going to continue to do what the rules say."

Said Melvin: "You're going to see some of that, and unfortunately it was strike three."

In better news for San Diego, Fernando Tatis Jr., who has 14 games left on an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, was to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso on Tuesday night. He can be activated on April 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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