Lowrie calls plunking 'flat-out embarrassing'

Astros' Clemens ejected, nearly hit A's shortstop with pitch last week

Lowrie calls plunking 'flat-out embarrassing'

HOUSTON -- This time, Paul Clemens didn't miss.

Six days after A's shortstop Jed Lowrie was nearly hit twice by a pitch from Clemens, the Astros reliever plunked Lowrie in the backside in the seventh inning of Oakland's 10-1 win Thursday and was immediately ejected by home-plate umpire Toby Basner.

It was "flat-out embarrassing," said Lowrie, whose payback came in the form of a run on Josh Donaldson's ensuing two-run homer. 

"There's no other way to say it," Lowrie said. "Every perspective, every angle you look at it, it's embarrassing. That kind of conduct should be condemned."

The antics stem from Houston manager Bo Porter's displeasure with Lowrie's decision to bunt in the first inning with his team already leading, 7-0, last Friday. Except Porter had turned on the defensive shift, so Lowrie saw no other choice. 

Later in the game, Clemens threw in between Lowrie's legs, and Porter was seen yelling at the infielder. No matter, Lowrie believed the drama to be over.

"I still don't understand why it was made into a big deal to begin with," Lowrie said. "He throws at me twice in Oakland, and then throws at me again today. For a number of reasons it's embarrassing. I had him in an at-bat before, I hit a double off him, and then he throws at me the first pitch. I've never seen anything like it.

"It hit me in the back leg. I'd be curious what his answer was, or what Bo's answer was. It's pretty obvious that he was throwing at me on purpose for the third time."

Porter's response was identical to the one he fed reporters last week, saying, "The game of baseball takes care of itself."

Houston's manager added, "George Springer got hit tonight, too. It's part of the game. ... I don't see it as frustrating. I don't see it as something to get past. What are we getting past?"

"There was no carryover on my end," Clemens said. "What happened in Oakland was squashed in Oakland. Bad pitch there and it just so happened I cut a fastball. Guy's been hot, swinging a good bat. I wanted to let him know I'm not afraid to come inside."

For Lowrie, he wants it to be known these actions are not acceptable. For that reason, he believes a suspension from Major League Baseball is "worth looking into." He also noted, "The buck stops with [Porter]. He's the one that's responsible for his players' conduct."

"I thought it ended in Oakland. I said this then," he said. "If they want to continue to hold a grudge, that's up to them. Clearly they've taken it very personally."

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.