Hurdle, Sofield ejected for arguing strike call

Hurdle, Sofield ejected for arguing strike call

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who tied for the Major League lead by getting thrown out of six games last season, picked up his first ejection of 2014 at the end of the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the Blue Jays at PNC Park.

Jordy Mercer had ended the frame by taking a called third strike from Toronto right-hander Dustin McGowan. At least, in the opinion of home-plate umpire Greg Gibson.

Bucs first-base coach Rick Sofield expressed his disagreement with the call on his way back to the dugout, contending that the pitch to Mercer had been low.

Sofield was tossed by Gibson, who also ejected Hurdle when the manager came to his coach's support.

The Pirates had one prior ejection this season, with Travis Snider having been tossed for his participation in a May 20 on-field fracas with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Blue Jays led, 4-1, when Mercer took that inning-ending strike, which came with two men on. That was the first time the Pirates had managed to get two runners on base against McGowan.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.