Spectator Greinke, Hillman ejected
Hurler tossed from bench; skipper thrown out inning later
KANSAS CITY -- Zack Greinke might be chosen the best pitcher in the American League, but he won't be named the best umpire.
At least not by plate umpire Greg Gibson, who ejected Greinke from Thursday night's 10-3 loss to the Red Sox. And Greinke wasn't even playing -- he was in the Royals' dugout when he was banished in the third inning.
Greinke was ejected after Gibson's call of a ball that gave Red Sox batter Jacoby Ellsbury a 2-2 count against Royals starter Anthony Lerew. But it wasn't just that pitch that riled Greinke. He'd been watching Gibson's calls from the dugout and later from a television in the clubhouse.
Finally, he came into the dugout and unloaded verbally.
"I just lost my composure, at least temporarily," Greinke said. "I don't usually do that. But it happens sometimes. I did right there, I don't know why. It wasn't warranted to be as vocal as I was about it."
Yes, Greinke is usually the mild-mannered superman who spends most of his time gaining momentum for the AL Cy Young Award. This was a rare outburst.
"I was loud because I wanted him to hear me," Greinke said. "I shouldn't have done it."
Gibson pointed toward the dugout and thumbed out Greinke, who left immediately.
It wasn't long before Greinke had company in the Royals' clubhouse. Manager Trey Hillman was ejected by Gibson in the next inning for complaining when the umpire warned Lerew and both benches after a close pitch to Mike Lowell following David Ortiz's home run.
Lerew, making his first start for the Royals, was impressed that Greinke would give a newcomer such support.
"It is huge for him to come out," Lerew said. "I was kind of just out there trying to battle with what he [Gibson] was giving me and for him [Greinke] to come out and say something, it just made me feel real good that he had my back. And for Trey having my back, too, was really nice."
It was Hillman's fourth ejection this season and the seventh of his career. He and Greinke had been tossed from the same game before.
On Aug. 3, 2008, after Greinke hit Chicago's Nick Swisher with a pitch, he and Hillman were ejected. That came after the benches were warned in the aftermath of a ruckus between White Sox pitcher D.J. Carrasco and the Royals' Miguel Olivo.
In fact, Greinke got a five-game suspension and Hillman a one-game suspension from that incident. That was Greinke's only previous ejection.
It must have been his volume that got him this heave-ho from Gibson.
"There were no cuss words. I don't ever say cuss words, so I didn't do that," Greinke said. "I didn't call him any names, either."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.