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Thursday, June 15, 2006
Rookie doesn't hit Blalock; demoted next day

ESPN.com news services

White Sox rookie pitcher Sean Tracey got into hot water with his manager Ozzie Guillen -- for getting an out.

Tracey was summoned to start the seventh inning and got Hank Blalock to ground out, but getting an out might not have been the reason Tracey was brought into the game. White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was hit by two pitches in the game and a source told the Chicago Sun-Times that Tracey was told to hit Blalock as retaliation. Tracey threw two inside pitches to Blalock before getting him to ground out.

After getting the out, Tracey was removed from the game. Guillen slammed a water bottle to the ground when Blalock grounded out and the manager then brought Agustin Montero in to pitch. Guillen was then seen in the dugout barking at Tracey, who pulled the collar of his jersey over his head.

Guillen didn't address why he screamed at Tracey and had a different explanation why he took the rookie out of the game.

"I tried to get Montero ready [to face Blalock] and wasn't able to. It was a little late," Guillen explained. "It was my mistake. I didn't get him up quick enough. I didn't want Tracey in that situation."

Tracey refused comment.

"Ozzie went nuts," one source told the Sun-Times.

Tracey was demoted to Triple-A on Thursday after the White Sox acquired reliever David Riske from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league reliever Javier Lopez.

Pierzynski was hit by pitches his first two at-bats, prompting home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi to issue warnings to both benches in the fourth.

"I don't know what the deal was. He had pretty good control and then he runs two first pitches in on me," Pierzynski said. `Why did he do it? You're going to have to ask him. I faced him maybe two times in the National League."

Vicente Padilla didn't comment after the game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.