ST. PETERSBURG -- Closer Fernando Rodney won his third game of the season by pitching two scoreless innings against the Tigers on Saturday, but his strikeout of Miguel Cabrera to lead off the 10th inning garnered a lot of the attention.
Rodney quickly worked an 0-2 count on Cabrera before throwing him two straight balls, one of which came high and inside. Rodney then struck Cabrera out with his signature changeup.
Cabrera yelled something in Rodney's direction on his way back to the dugout and TV cameras caught Cabrera continuing to talk once inside.
"He said, 'Wow.' I said, 'Wow,' too. It's my job," Rodney said after the game. "You can have fun when you hit home runs. I can have fun when I strike you out.
"You have to pitch inside sometimes. You don't want to hit anybody because the game was on the line. I tried to move him a little bit because he's a dangerous hitter."
Cabrera had no comment on the incident but Tigers manager Jim Leyland took issue with the inside fastball.
"I don't care about throwing inside but I don't like it up there," Leyland said. "We will not tolerate that. You can take that to the bank. We won't tolerate that up to the head to anybody. … That will cause a lot of problems for people."
"It seems like Miguel might have been upset and I really don't know why," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "There was no ill-intent at all going on there. I was just watching the whole thing. I was kind of surprised, actually."
Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.