A’s Lowrie irks Astros skipper after bunting with 7-0 lead
Even though the Astros were caught in a 11-3 blowout loss at the hands of the Athletics in Oakland on Friday night, Houston was able to at least make things interesting after manager Bo Porter got in a heated confrontation with A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie.
Lowrie, who played for the Astros in 2012 before Porter was the manager, tried to lay down a bunt in his second at-bat of the first inning. The A’s were already leading 7-0, so Lowrie’s move irked the Houston skipper.
After Lowrie flew out in his third at-bat to end the third inning, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was caught on camera talking to his former teammate in seemingly a calm manner about breaking one of the sacred "unwritten rules of baseball."
That’s when Porter came out of the dugout, visibly upset and pointed at Lowrie to take his spot on the field. After the confrontation, Porter took out his frustrations on a water cooler in the dugout.
Lowrie, however didn’t see any issue with his bunt in the first inning, due to the shift the Astros were playing on him defensively.
"They’re essentially asking me to bunt, aren’t they?" Lowrie told the Houston Chronicle. "That early in the game? Open up a hole like that? I don’t understand why you would get so upset about that when it was your choice to play the shift in the first place."
Lowrie went on to state that even though the Astros might not be competing this year in the division, it is important in his mind to score as many runs possible against a major-league opponent.
"We’re talking about the first inning of a major league game," Lowrie said. "These games are important and there’s a lot on the line."
During Lowrie’s third-inning at-bat, Astros pitcher Paul Clemens threw a pitch that went through Lowrie’s legs. After the game, Clemens said the pitch was unintentional.
"Just a fastball, I cut it," Clemens told the Houston Chronicle. "That’s how I know I’m getting tired a little bit, I start cutting my pitches."
Lowrie saw it a different way.
"He was obviously trying to hit me, and he wasn’t able to hit me." Lowrie said.
Lowrie told the Chronicle that after the third-inning he wanted to hear from Altuve why Clemens had seemingly thrown at him, but Altuve said afterward he didn’t know what Lowrie was saying.
The shots didn’t end there, after the game Clemens took a dig at the A’s shortstop.
"Lowrie’s not an imposing guy," Clemens said. "I guess I was a little surprised that a guy like that kind of got stirred up, but so be it."
With all the words exchanged, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the drama unfolds with the Astros facing the Athletics two more times in the weekend series.
During Porter’s postgame new conference, there was another interesting comment, but you have to wait a few seconds for it — actually 17 seconds of silence for it.