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Escobar ejected after arguing called third strike

Shortstop tossed a night after Maddon departs game early

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ST. LOUIS -- Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar started toward first base assuming a walk Wednesday night against St. Louis, but instead watched his night come to an end for arguing a called third strike.

Escobar had worked a full count against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in the fourth inning before Lynn threw a fastball in the lower part of the zone. After initially heading toward first base, Escobar was called out on strikes by home-plate umpire Dan Bellino.

"It was hard to defend," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I went out there and asked Danny what he had said. He said he had pretty much said everything. When you pretty much include everything, that's what happens."

Kevin Kiermaier, two batters later, also worked a full count and started toward first base while being rung up on a called third strike. Maddon, however, had no issues with the strike zone.

"Double-checking with everybody, they said they were pretty good pitches," Maddon said. "Danny Bellino is a really good umpire."

Escobar was replaced by Logan Forsythe, who went to second base with Ben Zobrist shifting to short. The ejection came a night after Maddon was tossed in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout.

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

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