Wiggy blocks the bag, Blanco gets mad
Orioles third baseman Ty Wigginton and Rangers second baseman Andres Blanco got into a verbal spat following the first out of the sixth inning of Thursday’s game, with third base umpire Manny Gonzalez restraining Wigginton. No ejections were issued although several members of the O’s bullpen came spilling onto the field in the event of an on-field melee.
The incident started when Blanco doubled over the head of right fielder Nick Markakis and tried to stretch it to a triple. The Orioles had other plans, as Markakis made a pinpoint relay throw to second baseman Brian Roberts who pivoted and threw to a waiting Wigginton at third. Blanco took a hard slide into the bag, pushing Wigginton over after the out was made, but the O’s infielder held up the ball and Gonzalez called him out. Blanco took exception to Wigginton blocking the bag and Wigginton started shouting back at him, pointing to the visitors’ dugout to tell the Rangers infielder to go back to the bench.
That’s when Gonzalez stepped in front of the pair and pushed Wigginton back toward shortstop to avoid any escalating the situation any further.
The play was especially critical given that the Orioles and Rangers were deadlocked in a scoreless game, and Blanco would have given Texas a baserunner with no outs.
Wigginton, who was suspended two games earlier this year for making contact with an umpire during a game against the Twins, responded with a two-out double in his at-bat in the bottom of the sixth.
There’s no score through six so far.