After being hit by a pitch in his previous at-bat and taking two offerings high and inside from Dillon Tate in the 10th inning, Rays outfielder Tommy Pham felt a rush of anger toward the Orioles pitcher.
“First pitch he threw it at my head,” Pham said after Monday’s game, “and after that I wanted to kill him.”
Then Pham, who thought Baltimore’s dugout was applauding the inside pitches, drilled a walk-off single off Tate.
“I’m more frustrated with their dugout hollering after the pitches that were thrown,” Pham said. “Kind of like they were cheering him on that he was buzzing me up and in. But success is revenge and I got the game-winning hit for us.”
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde called the accusations from Pham of his dugout cheering the inside pitches “ridiculous” and added a dig about Tropicana Field attendance.
“We’re in a place that’s like playing in the Florida State League,” Hyde said, “where you can hear the lights buzz, and I didn’t hear anything.”
Pham is batting .278 with 20 home runs and 18 stolen bases this season, and the Rays are in the middle of a playoff race. Tate has a 6.35 ERA on a last-place Orioles team. But when pitches fly up-and-in, those differences in peformance level are no barrier to intense emotions.