Mike Minor's 200th strike out of the season for the Texas Rangers came with some controversy Thursday.
With one out of the ninth inning and a minor strike out of the mark for the first time in his career, the left- hander got the Red Sox's Chris Owings to pop up a 1-2 pitch into foul territory. Minor, catcher Jose Trevino and first baseman Ronald Guzman converges on the ball, but Guzman drops it in front of him, allowing Owings' at-bat to continue.
Minor struck him out on the very next pitch for his ninth strikeout
"We were telling, telling [Guzman] to drop it because there's going to be two strikes," Minor said. "He dropped it, and then he looked at me like, 'What? Why?' And then everybody started booing or whatever. "
It was Minor's 1
"I did not love the idea that we dropped the popup at the end," Woodward said. I'm pretty sure [Red Sox manager Alex] Cora did, they chose to not try
Asked what he was thinking when Guzman let the popup drop in, Woodward said: "He better strike [Owings] out."
19659002] "I would have taken him out [if he didn’t]," Woodward said. "It was borderline crossing the line."
Asked about the play, Cora – who stayed in the Boston dugout for several minutes after the game, staring out at the field – did not comment on it specifically, only saying
The 126 pitches are the most Minor has thrown in a single game in his career and are tied for third-most in a game this season in the majors
Minor (14-10) struck out six of his first 11 batters. Sam Travis finishes seventh on Minor's 117th pitch, which matches his career high.
When Minor the batter before Travis, Woodward took a step out of the dugout toward the mound before being waved back by the 31-year-old.
"I told him that I could not give him too many pitches," Woodward said. "From a number standpoint, I know it's just a number (200 strikeouts), but it's a big deal." This guy has just made his best pitcher all year . "
Boston went 1-2-3 in the Eighth on Three Pitches, Two Groundouts and a Popout. So Minor came back for the ninth. Sandy Leon flied out before the Owings at-bat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.