MINNEAPOLIS -- This week's Tigers-Twins series already figured to be intense. But boy, did it get testy quickly. On Tuesday, the talk in both clubhouses was still focused on events of Monday night's series opener and exactly which team was intentionally thrown at in the game. The drama began in the first inning on Monday when a fastball from Twins starter Glen Perkins whizzed towards the head of Carlos Guillen, causing the Tigers third baseman to hit the deck and glare at the mound. The Tigers appeared to be seeking retaliation in the third inning, when Twins catcher Joe Mauer came up to face Tigers starter Armando Galarraga. The first pitch, a fastball, was thrown behind Mauer. Galarraga's next pitch was at Mauer's knees, eliciting a stare from the usually stoic catcher.
Home-plate umpire James Hoye warned both benches, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was apparently upset that Galarraga was not tossed after throwing at Mauer twice. The skipper was then ejected after bolting from the dugout and laying into Hoye. After the game, Mauer made it clear that he felt the Tigers were throwing intentionally at him. But Tigers manager Jim Leyland was adamant on Tuesday that he felt the Twins weren't the only ones who had been targeted. "We thought Guillen had been thrown at," Leyland said. "Only we threw ours low, and they threw theirs high. So that's my message. We didn't hit anybody, they didn't hit anybody. If we wanted to hit somebody, we would have hit them. We threw ours low, they threw theirs high, right at the guys' head, it went all the way to the backstop on a fly. That's my message. "The guy is 4-for-5 off a guy, with a home run and two doubles, and all of a sudden the control is real good with everybody else, and in and out all night and everything, and the one pitch during the whole game ... that doesn't smell real good." Perkins said after the game that he was not intentionally throwing at Guillen. When the Tigers third baseman stared down Perkins after the incident, the pitcher even issued an apology to Guillen on the field.
"He kept staring at me, so I said, 'Are you going to keep staring at me? I apologize," Perkins said. "After watching [the pitch] on video I can see why he did. It was pretty close, pretty scary. He was in the box, and I'm trying to make pitches. I'm definitely not trying to throw at his head."
Upon learning of Leyland's comments, Gardenhire reiterated Perkins' sentiments that he felt it was a pitch that got away from the left-hander.
"I can't control what he says over there or what they think," Gardenhire said. "I know Perk just got underneath a sinker, a two-seamer, got on the side of it and that ball sailed."
The Twins skipper didn't seem to be upset by the fact that the Tigers tried to retaliate, but it was the manner in which it occurred that caused him to get upset enough to earn his third ejection of the season.
"You know what, you throw at a good hitter like that, you knock him down and you come at his lips, you are going to get something back," Gardenhire said. "But you shouldn't get two somethings back."
As for whether there will be any carryover of the incident into Tuesday night's game, it certainly didn't appear like it. At the end of Twins batting practice on Tuesday, Perkins saw Guillen as he walked off the field by third base. The two exchanged words and shook hands.
The good will made it appear as though the hatchet had been buried, a sentiment echoed by Leyland.
"Absolutely," Leyland said. "No issues, no problems whatsoever."
|"We threw ours low, and they threw theirs high. So that's my message."|
|-- Jim Leyland|
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.