Lowrie, Porter exchange words in Oakland

A's shortstop, who bunted with 7-0 lead in first, nearly hit by pitch in third

Lowrie, Porter exchange words in Oakland

OAKLAND -- Jed Lowrie was simply trying to bring in another run. Bo Porter didn't think the A's needed any more.

That's why Houston's manager took offense to Lowrie's decision to bunt in his second at-bat of the first inning, with Oakland already leading, 7-0, of an eventual 11-3 A's win on Friday. Astros righty Paul Clemens nearly hit Lowrie in the shortstop's next at-bat, at one point throwing between his legs in the third.

Lowrie flied out to end the inning but, when starting a conversation with former teammate Jose Altuve to try to understand the intent, Porter came out of the dugout and shouted at Lowrie, yelling repeatedly for him to "go back to shortstop."

"I just don't understand why he came out in such a rage," Lowrie said. "I understand if he didn't like the fact I bunted. If we're talking about the eighth inning, of course I'm not going to bunt, but they're giving me that by playing the shift and, as a competitive guy, I'm trying to help my team win.

"We're talking about the first inning of a Major League game. These games are important, and there's a lot on the line. I think, at one point, they were one swing away from being two runs down. So if I get on base there and we pick up a couple more runs, that's important."

Porter didn't have much of a response, saying, "Nothing happened. The game takes care of itself."

"I didn't understand the thought process of trying to hit me, especially in that situation," added Lowrie. "It doesn't make sense. I just don't get it. I don't know what it shows but not a lot of confidence in his own team, point blank. I don't want to make a big deal of it, but it's the first inning and every run is important."

Said Clemens, who denied trying to hit Lowrie: "Lowrie's not an imposing guy. I guess I was a little surprised a guy like that kind of got stirred up, but so be it."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.