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Angels plunk Jake Marisnick; Astros unhappy about Jonathan Lucroy payback

Sporting News logo Sporting News 7/17/2019 Chelsea Howard
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The Angels plunked Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick on Tuesday in what may have been considered retaliation.

The incident happened during the sixth inning, leading players on both teams to clear their benches after Noe Ramirez threw a pitch that hit Marisnick. Both sides were given a warning as a heated verbal exchange broke out between Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and Astros pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander, among others in Houston's dugout.

“This was not a surprise,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (via MLB.com). “I wish they would’ve handled it better. [The pitch] was too high. If they’re gonna hit guys, they need to hit guys the right way.”

Hinch expressed his displeasure, accusing Ramirez of intentionally hitting Marisnick and claiming it was "a free shot." Tuesday's game marked Marisnick's first game against the Angles since he collided with Los Angeles catcher Jonathan Lucroy at home plate, leaving Lucroy with a concussion and a broken nose.

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"Wasn't everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?'' Hinch asked. "I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot.

"It's a confusing time. Either the players govern the players on the field like it's always been, or we legislate it to where none of this crap happens. They got a free shot at him with no warning, no ejection. We'll see if there's discipline, and without discipline, there's not going to be any issue doing it the next time. So if retaliations are in, cool. We're well aware."

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Marisnick, meanwhile, wouldn't reveal whether he thought Ramirez's pitch was intentional. Marisnick said: "That's a question for him. I'm not the one throwing the baseball."

He added: "It's not what I wanted. It was an unfortunate play back in Houston. I feel terrible about it. And to come here and have some of this go down, it sucks."

As for Ramirez? He denied hitting Marisnick intentionally.

“I was just trying to sneak a fastball by him,” he said. "I tried to sneak one by him in, and it just got away from me."

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