Leave it to Adam Eaton to stir things up.
Both dugouts and bullpens emptied in the first inning of the White Sox’ 4-2 loss to the Indians on Thursday after Eaton shoved Indians shortstop Andres Gimenez after getting called out trying to stretch a single into a double.
Eaton was safely on the bag but felt Gimenez lifted his arm off the base, and the out ruined a second-and-third opportunity with no outs.
“I let the emotions kind of get the best of me there just because I felt like anytime you get pushed off the bag when you are safe, it’s a little frustrating,” Eaton said.
Yoan Moncada’s two-out single scored Tim Anderson, who hit Aaron Civale’s first pitch for a single and advanced on Eaton’s hit, but the Sox did not score again until Luis Robert led off the ninth with a triple and scored on an error.
“The umpire [Bill Miller] ruled it was just a hard tag,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “You start pressing like that, you can just beat the heck out of the guy you’re tagging, just knock him off the base. I don’t think that’s allowable. I mean, you can’t go to the first baseman and knock him over, the third baseman.”
Eaton is known for playing with an edge, and he said teammates thanked him for giving them a shot of adrenaline early in a day game after a night game. But he “wasn’t proud” of his actions.
The fracas was tame by bench-clearing standards, but MLB is taking a harder stance against bench clearings. With coronavirus health and safety protocols, players who come within six feet of each other “for the purpose of argument or to engage in altercations on the field” are subject to ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions.
“Didn’t even think of that, but thank you for putting that in my mind,” Eaton said. “I’ll be sweating it out for the next six to eight hours after hearing that.
“If MLB is listening, I’m sorry, don’t suspend me, please.”
Lynn’s effort wasted
Right-hander Lance Lynn made his third solid start, following Carlos Rodon’s no-hitter with two hitless innings to start the game and allowing two runs over six innings. Lynn struck out 10, but Jose Ramirez’s two-run homer with two outs and two strikes in the sixth produced the first earned runs scored against Lynn (0.97 ERA) and erased a 1-0 Sox lead.
The Sox managed five hits after the first inning, two in the infield and one on a pop fly by Yermin Mercedes that fell for a double.
Cease passes tests
Right-hander Dylan Cease passed precautionary tests for the coronavirus after going on the injured list with symptoms Wednesday and was cleared to travel with the team to Boston. Cease’s turn to pitch is Friday, and he’s expected to make the start.
Anderson was activated off the 10-day IL, and outfielder Nick Williams was designated for assignment to make room on the 26-man roster.
Williams was 0-for-10 with two walks in four games. The Sox have a week to trade Williams or attempt to pass him through outright waivers.