Escobar ejected after close play at first base

Escobar ejected after close play at first base

Escobar ejected after close play at first base
TORONTO -- Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was ejected by first-base umpire Marvin Hudson in the sixth inning of Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Rangers after a close call at first base.

Escobar hit a chopper up the middle, which was fielded by second baseman Ian Kinsler as he ranged to his right. Kinsler's throw to first was slightly off target, but first baseman Michael Young appeared to stretch out to make the play as Hudson called Escobar out.

Escobar contested the call -- complaining that Young's foot was pulled off the bag before the ball arrived -- and was promptly tossed by Hudson. It was Escobar's third groundout of the game and first ejection of the season.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell came out for some brief words with Hudson, then returned to the dugout with his club trailing, 2-0.

"From our vantage point in the dugout, it looked like he might have come off early," Farrell said. "But Marvin had him hanging onto the bag just enough."

Escobar -- who was born in Cuba and speaks only partial English -- could only get a few words in before he was quickly tossed from the game.

"Obviously, he said enough quickly to get ejected out of the game," Farrell said. "But once that call is made, it's made."

Aaron Hill took Escobar's leadoff spot in the batting order and played second base, pushing John McDonald over to shortstop. Hill grounded into a double play in his only at-bat.

Escobar's ejection was the Blue Jays' fifth of the season and just the third time a player has been tossed. Farrell has earned two dismissals, while reliever Jon Rauch and catcher Jose Molina have each been tossed once.

Escobar has been one of the Blue Jays' most productive players of late, reaching base safely in 29 of his past 32 contests. He is batting .348 with 16 walks and a .425 on-base percentage over that span.

Coming into Saturday's game, Escobar led the Majors with a .467 on-base percentage since June 24 and ranked second in batting average, hitting .381 in his 27 games since that point.

The 28-year-old is now 0-for-7 during Toronto's series with Texas. He went 0-for-4 in the series opener, which snapped a streak of five straight multi-hit games.

Arden Zwelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.