Valentine tossed in ninth for arguing strike call

Valentine tossed in ninth for arguing strike call

Valentine tossed in ninth for arguing strike call
BOSTON -- It wasn't just the ninth inning that bothered Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. It was how the umpires called the entire three-game series with the Nationals at Fenway Park, a series the Sox were swept in.

Valentine was ejected by home-plate ump Al Porter over a strike call with Boston's last batter, Dustin Pedroia, at the plate in a 4-3 loss to the Nats on Sunday. Pedroia was struck out swinging by Nats closer Tyler Clippard afterward.

"We've got guys busting their butt, battling their butt off," Valentine said before the team left for its next series, in Miami. "It's not right. Good umpires had a real bad series this series. Real bad series. And it went one way. There should be a review."

The umpiring crew this series included Paul Nauert, Doug Eddings and Dana DeMuth.

"It's pretty disappointing. We're trying to compete -- every one is, both teams -- and you don't want them [the umps] to come into play and stuff like that," Pedroia said. "It's hard enough playing the game against good pitching and good players. It was pretty disappointing."

Valentine was upset by the top of the ninth, as well, when Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves was on the mound. He gave up the decisive run in the frame on an RBI double by Roger Bernadina, one pitch after Porter called a 1-2 fastball that seemed to catch the inside corner a ball. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was set up on the other side of the plate, and had to reach across the plate for the pitch, which likely didn't help Porter's visual.

"He could have called a strikeout," Aceves said. "I missed the spot, but like I've been saying, there are tough hitters over there. We've got to make our pitches. Unfortunately, they didn't call it a strike, but it's been like that for 10 years or more. We've got to come back and play against the Marlins and win the series."

Valentine's been ejected twice as Red Sox manager. The first time came May 18 in Philadelphia.