CLEVELAND -- Manager Manny Acta was ejected from Monday's 3-2 win over the Red Sox in the eighth inning for arguing a ruling at first base. It was the fifth career ejection for Cleveland's skipper.
With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury chopped a pitch from Indians starter Justin Masterson to the right side of the infield. First baseman Matt LaPorta gloved the grounder and flipped it to Masterson, who stepped awkwardly around the bag before appearing to flick it with the edge of his right foot.
Ellsbury was ruled safe by first-base umpire Rob Drake.
"I was just a little clumsy going over there," Masterson said. "I wanted to make sure I didn't step in the middle of the bag. I got the corner, but it happens. We're all human. That's what took place.
"It was great Manny came out and tried to fight for it, but hey, I've never really seen a call overturned yet."
Acta emerged from the dugout to ask Masterson if he touched first base with his foot. After the starter insisted he did, the manager took up the issue with Drake. Part of the problem was that Masterson went back to first base and stepped on it a second time after the initial contact.
According to Acta, Drake cited that reaction as the reasoning behind the ruling.
"The umpire told me that he tried to go back to touch the base," Acta said. "So that's why he called him safe. He never heard what I got to say, only the things that I didn't go out there to tell him. Actually, what I wanted to say is you don't make calls based on players' reactions, on the guy going back.
"You make calls on what you see and what happened. I became a little mad just because he walked off on me. I think that's disrespectful."
Masterson said his retreat to the base was simply a case of him getting caught up in an intense moment.
"I went and kind of caught the edge of it," Masterson said. "Then I was just in an awkward position, so it was kind of like when you're really fired up, and you really want this out, and you step and you kind of give it the extra kick for a little pizzazz. Unfortunately, the pizzazz hurt me tonight."
Following the play, Ellsbury was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Lou Marson. The Indians then went on to score two runs in the bottom of the inning to notch a comeback win over Boston. Acta did not believe his actions served as extra motivation for his players.
"It had nothing to do with trying to rally my team," Acta said. "I think so far these guys don't need any of that. They're going to play 27 outs."