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Friday, May 18, 2012
Aviles ejected, Pedroia upset with ump

By Joe McDonald

Mike Aviles
Mike Aviles wasn't pleased after getting tossed for the first time in his career.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For the second consecutive game, the Boston Red Sox were visibly upset with the umpiring crew during a two-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez spoke his mind after Wednesday's 2-1 loss, saying it's tough to put together a professional at-bat when the plate umpire is inconsistent.

During the Sox's 5-3 win on Thursday, Gonzalez's teammates Mike Aviles and Dustin Pedroia also took exception to certain calls, and manager Bobby Valentine had their backs, too.

"You can't fight the umpire and the other team," Valentine said. "We're a highly competitive team and I'd like to be given a chance. A lot of guys had complaints tonight and I was with them. We've got to fight through it, that's for sure. We're trying our hardest and I think they're trying their hardest, too."

In the top of the seventh inning, Aviles was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Dan Bellino after he struck out looking. It was the first time in his career Aviles has been ejected.

"It was just frustrating, I guess," Aviles said. "I really wasn't questioning if it was a ball or strike on the last one. It was more of the fact that he had called two [other pitches] very similar balls, so I kind of shut off that pitch and when it got called a strike, I thought he gave me the hook prematurely, but at that point I definitely lost my cool and I apologize for that. It was definitely a little frustrating."

Pedroia, who went 2-for-5 with three strikeouts, was called out looking in the top of the ninth inning and gave Bellino the stare-down, too.

"They have a tough job," Pedroia said. "It's not easy. The game speeds up and I thought it might have sped up a little tonight, but it happens. It's tough, these games because we're fighting, trying to play well and facing some good pitching. It definitely affects your at-bats, but it's not an excuse. We are trying to have quality at-bats and hopefully the bat doesn't get taken out of your hands."