Was Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo trying to light a fire under his struggling team late in his team's blowout loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday?
The D-backs are still very much alive in the National League playoff picture but had lost 10 of their last 14 games entering Sunday's matchup with Minnesota. In the seventh inning Sunday, the D-backs were well on their way to another defeat when both teams' benches were issued a warning by umpire John Tumpane after Twins pitcher Ryan Pressly nearly hit D-backs shortstop Adam Rosales with a pitch.
Pressly's inside fastball may have been in response to D-backs pitcher Braden Shipley hitting Twins catcher Chris Gimenez an inning earlier. In any event, Tumpane's move prompted Lovullo to come out of the dugout and start an argument with the umpire, leading to Lovullo's ejection from the game.
D-backs play-by-play man Steve Berthiaume suggested Lovullo's decision was primarily about waking up the slumping D-backs rather than being upset about Tumpane's warning.
"He's trying to find a way to wake up his ballclub and he's using every club in the bag." -- Steve Berthiaume on Torey Lovullo's ejection. pic.twitter.com/FBoPnTTZGH
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) August 20, 2017
It marked the second time that the first-year D-backs manager has been ejected this season. Lovullo was tossed for arguing balls and strikes during a home game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals on June 28.
The D-backs went on to lose to the Twins 12-5 on Sunday, giving Minnesota a three-game sweep over Arizona. The D-backs next head to New York for four-game series vs. the Mets beginning Monday night.