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07/08/10 1:01 AM ET
Indians go down quietly, Acta does not
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- His team's lack of execution in the clutch against the Rangers disappointed Indians manager Manny Acta on Wednesday night. His ejection by first-base umpire Tim Timmons enraged him. Following a 4-3 loss capped by his first ejection at the helm of the Tribe, the usually mild-mannered Acta unleashed a verbal tirade about the way his young team is treated by the umpires. A check-swing strike call on Jason Donald with two outs in the ninth ultimately had nothing to do with the Indians' loss, as Donald went on to walk, and the Tribe fell anyway. But that didn't lessen Acta's anger in the aftermath of the series finale at Rangers Ballpark. Acta had been ejected when, visibly aghast at the strike call on Donald, he removed his hat in the dugout. Timmons is the one who pulled the trigger, and Acta raced out to first to chew Timmons out. "I got thrown out for taking my hat off," Acta said. "I'm shocked my whole dugout didn't get thrown out, because everybody did something. It's a shame. I get ejected for taking my hat off, then have to delay the game by walking 150 feet to argue that." It was just the third time in Acta's career that he has been ejected. It happened once in 2007 and once in '09, when he was managing the Nationals. "Look at my record," Acta said. "I'm probably one of the easiest guys for them to deal with over the years, and what do I get? Take my hat off and get thrown out of the game, right off the bat?" But it wasn't the lack of respect Acta felt he was shown that bothered him nearly as much as the perceived lack of respect the rookie Donald was shown on that call. "It's sad," Acta said "I know [the umpires] are human and all that. But I've been doing rebuilding jobs for four years, and these kids don't get the benefit of the doubt by those guys. If they don't know these kids' names, they don't get a fair shake. I don't care what anybody says. I've seen it for four years. I'm not supposed to criticize them publicly. I just got the letter. But so be it. I'm fed up with it. I've dealt with it for four years." Acta didn't seem nearly as disappointed in the loss to the Rangers, which was the Tribe's 10th road loss in 13 games. Of course the final result didn't please him, but Acta saw positives in the way Mitch Talbot threw the ball against a tough lineup in a tough place to pitch, even though Talbot squandered a 3-1 lead in the fifth. "He gave up four runs to the Texas Rangers, in Texas," Acta said. "That's a pretty good outing to me." Not good enough to win. Not on a night in which the Tribe bats went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and put just two baserunners aboard in the last four innings. "They played us tough," said Rangers third baseman Michael Young, "but [Rangers starter] Colby [Lewis] battled." Lewis held the Tribe hitless through three, buckled a bit in the fourth and fifth, but nonetheless remained in control. The Indians were down 1-0 after Talbot gave up an RBI single to Josh Hamilton in the first, but that deficit was erased when the hot-hitting Jayson Nix ripped a leadoff shot off Lewis in the fourth to even the score. It was Nix's fifth homer in five games and fourth in this series. "He's done very well for us since he joined us [June 25]," Acta said. "He's given us good at-bats out of the No. 2 hole and played well at second base, too. We're happy to have him over here." They're also happy, of course, to have Carlos Santana, who followed with a double to set up Jhonny Peralta's RBI single that made it 2-1. In the fifth, the Indians took advantage of an Andres Blanco error to extend the lead to 3-1. With two on, Travis Hafner sent a grounder Blanco's way that the second baseman couldn't handle. Michael Brantley, streaking with two out, scored from second. Alas, the lead was gone as quickly as it came. In the bottom of the fifth, with one on and one out, Talbot hung a fastball to Young, who belted it out to right to even it up at 3. "Tough one," Talbot said. "I got some run support, then blew it. It was a fastball up, right down the middle." In the sixth, Matt Treanor doubled with two out and Blanco walked. Talbot served up a single to Julio Borbon that scored Treanor with the go-ahead run. Joe Smith relieved Talbot and got out of a bases-loaded jam, but the damage had been done. Talbot has lost four of his last five starts, but only one of those outings -- June 16 against the Mets -- can be classified as a real bruising. He's suffered from a general lack of support. "It's part of baseball," he said. "You have to learn how to work through that." Once the lead was lost, the Indians' bats didn't make the Rangers' arms work much. Shelley Duncan hit a leadoff double in the sixth and was stranded. The Indians went down in order in the seventh and eighth against Alexi Ogando and Frank Francisco. In the ninth, Andy Marte's would-be homer off Neftali Feliz with one out hooked left of the left-field foul pole. Marte went on to pop out. Donald was stranded when he drew the walk after the controversial check-swing strike. "Today just came down to execution, basically," Acta said. "We had men on second with no outs and couldn't execute and score, and they ended up scoring the go-ahead run with two outs." And as for the ejection? "The check will be on the way," Acta said.