ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rays' frustrating weekend can be summed up with one image: Stars B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria standing nose-to-nose in a heated dugout spat.
Upton pointed a finger in Longoria’s face after the third baseman questioned the center fielder’s effort in the fifth inning Sunday, when Gerardo Parra hit a two-run homer that helped give Arizona a 2-1 win over the slumping Rays.
Rodrigo Lopez and three relievers combined on a two-hitter for the Diamondbacks, who took two of three from the Rays. On Friday night, Edwin Jackson no-hit Tampa Bay, which had seven hits in the series.
“It’s a byproduct of a frustrated team,” Longoria said. “We’re trying to win games and guys are going to have differences of opinion. I just wanted to know what was going through his head. The bottom line, we’ve talked about it and it goes no further than today.”
Longoria was upset with how Upton positioned himself and went after Rusty Ryal’s drive that ended up a triple in the fifth, ahead of Parra’s homer. Several teammates stepped in between the two, and Willy Aybar wrapped his arms around Upton while separating the teammates.
“B.J. came in off the field after that particular play and everybody saw it, and some guys were not really pleased and certain things were said,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He was set up on the other side – in other words a right-handed hitter he set up in right-center field and the guy pulled it into left-center. He just did not run as hard as he possibly could have after the ball, that was obvious. That one there just didn’t have a good look to it.”
Added Maddon: “It’s just one of those moments that happen and now it’s up to me to handle it properly.”