A.J. Pierzynski takes issue with ninth-inning plunking
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 1, 2013 10:25PM
The facts: 7:05 p.m.,
CSN+, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Jake Peavy (3-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Justin Grimm (2-0), 1.59).
Updated: June 3, 2013 3:38PM
ARLINGTON, Texas — Leave it to A.J. Pierzynski to find himself in a minor dust-up with his former team, even if he wasn’t an instigator.
The Texas Rangers catcher was hit on the right elbow pad by a pitch from White Sox closer Addison Reed in the ninth inning of the Sox’ 5-2 victory Wednesday night. A pinch hitter, Pierzynski was up with two outs, so getting plunked in that situation didn’t loom large until Ian Kinsler singled after him, bringing the tying run to the plate.
Pierzynski angrily flipped his bat and yelled at Reed, then glared while he stood on first base by former teammate Paul Konerko.
‘‘You never want to get hit by a pitch,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘I was trying to come back and win a game. When you get hit by a pitch, you’re not happy about it. Paul basically said he didn’t think it was anything on purpose and I expect nothing less.’’
Told that the Sox said there was no intent, Pierzynski said, ‘‘What am I supposed to believe? You know? What else? It’s not the way you’re supposed to play the game, and it’s fine. It’s over.’’
Reed was asked if he was sending a message.
‘‘Absolutely not,’’ he said. ‘‘I was trying to go in and went a little too far in. It’s over with, and we got out of here with a win. That’s all that matters.’’
The Sox (11-15) and Rangers play again Thursday night. Pierzynski, who is nursing a tender oblique, said he hopes to start against right-hander Jake Peavy. Pierzynski had his friends on the Sox, but Peavy was not one of them.
‘‘You’re not trying to put anybody on,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘I mean, you’re not trying to send a message or anything like that. You don’t want anyone on base because in about 30 seconds, they had the tying run on base.’’
Left-handed reliever Donnie Veal’s control issues were dragging on, so the Sox optioned him to Class AAA Charlotte to straighten them out. Right-hander Brian Omogroso was recalled, leaving Matt Thornton as the only lefty in the bullpen with Hector Santiago in the starting rotation.
“We gave him every shot,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said. “Donnie Veal is in a pass-or-fail role.’’
Omogrosso, 28, who posted a 2.57 ERA over 17 appearances last season, gave up seven runs in 92/3 innings at Charlotte.
Lefty John Danks, who has been pitching in extended spring training, makes his first injury rehab start Thursday for Class AA Birmingham.