Rios ejected in third inning vs. Rays
Outfielder throws down bat, helmet after call on check swing
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Blue Jays right fielder Alex Rios has gained a reputation for showing his frustration on the field, slamming his helmet to the ground or occasionally snapping a bat over his knee.
On Thursday, first-base umpire Tim McClelland took exception with Rios' antics. Rios was ejected in the third inning of Toronto's game against Tampa Bay after flipping his bat, spiking his helmet and shouting in disgust after striking out at Disney's Champion Stadium.
On a 2-2 count, Rios attempted to check his swing on a pitch from Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine. Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro appealed to McClelland, who ruled that Rios' bat had traveled far enough to warrant an inning-ending strikeout. Rios reacted angrily as he began walking toward right field, and McClelland promptly tossed the right fielder from the game.
Rios then sprinted toward McClelland, shouting "What did I do?" and was then held back by Toronto first-base coach Ernie Whitt. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons joined the argument on the field, but to no avail. The Jays replaced Rios in right field with utility man Joe Inglett.
Rios was back in the Blue Jays' lineup for the first time since Monday after missing the past two games against the Rays with flu-like symptoms. Entering Thursday's game, Rios was batting .303 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 20 games as Toronto's No. 3 hitter.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.