A day after their manager admitted his struggling players had lost confidence, Torii Hunter and Jered Weaver displayed plenty of pluck during a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park.
Weaver mostly plowed through a potent lineup in seven strong innings and Hunter hit a two-run homer before standing his ground during an eighth-inning run-in with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa that resulted in his ejection.
Kulpa called three consecutive strikes on the right fielder, with Hunter turning to argue about the location of the first and third pitches. The umpire then ejected Hunter, later explaining Hunter “said some things that crossed the line.”
Hunter called Kulpa “a drama queen” for his exaggerated reaction after the brim of Hunter’s batting helmet brushed against the area above the umpire’s left eye.
“He made it very dramatic,” said Hunter, who also intimated that Kulpa had said something to him in a previous at-bat when Hunter questioned a strike call. “That’s what got me really upset.”
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia ran onto the field to separate Hunter from Kulpa and argue on behalf of his team leader, eventually resulting in Scioscia’s ejection. A vociferous Hunter had to be restrained by third base coach Dino Ebel and first base coach Alfredo Griffin, who herded him into the dugout. Hunter then flung a bag of balls onto the field, a gesture that could earn him a suspension.
“You don’t want to act like that,” said Hunter, who was also ejected by Kulpa in July 2007 for yelling from the dugout. “I’ve got kids and I don’t want them to see that. But understand