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Disputed call angers Arizona crowd

Disputed call angers Arizona crowd

By: By ANDY BAGNATO, AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP) — Angry fans threw water bottles and other debris onto the field following a disputed call, prompting Colorado manager Clint Hurdle to pull his team back to the dugout during Thursday night’s NL championship series opener.

The game was delayed for about eight minutes in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Crew chief Tim McClelland made the decision to clear the field, umpire supervisor Richie Garcia said through Major League Baseball spokesman John Blundell.

Colorado was ahead 5-1 when the Arizona Diamondbacks put two runners on base with no outs.

Augie Ojeda hit a grounder to third baseman Garrett Atkins, who threw to second baseman Kaz Matsui.

Justin Upton, running from first, slid over second base and then rolled his right shoulder into Matsui’s left leg, knocking the infielder to the ground.

Second base umpire Larry Vanover immediately called Upton out for interference, resulting in a double play.

A few fans threw bottles onto the field from the upper deck, and then more followed far down the foul lines. Some of them landed near Rockies players, and Hurdle gestured in pulling his team off the field in Phonix.

“It’s too bad it became about the umpires,” Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said. “But I think that showed we don’t have such an apathetic crowd, clearly.

“The crowd was obviously showing that they thought the umpires overreacted. and once it began to get out of hand, we did all we could do to slow that down and to bring it to a stop,” Hall said.

Hall said he did not know how many fans had been ejected or whether any arrests had been made.

The team cut off alcohol sales immediately.

No replays of the play were shown on the video board, Hall said.

“The fans were upset,” Hall said. “They expressed their emotions. We did bring it to a halt. But I think the umpires were just trying to keep the safety of the players in mind, so they certainly did the right thing there.

“I think it definitely could have been prevented,” Hall said. “But we did everything we could to make it stop after it started.”

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