MLB rules no intent on Tigers pitch that hit plate umpire

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 13: Home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott #81 listens as manager Brad Ausmus #7 and catcher James McCann #34 of the Detroit Tigers argue after both where thrown out of the game during the third inning at Progressive Field on September 13, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has ruled that the Detroit Tigers did not intend to throw a pitch that struck the plate umpire in the shoulder and knocked him to the ground.

MLB said Friday that Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre reviewed the play and found no wrongdoing.

Umpire Quinn Wolcott was hit by a fastball from Detroit’s Buck Farmer during a game Wednesday at Cleveland. Rookie backup catcher John Hicks never touched the ball as it sailed past his mitt.

The incident came two batters after Wolcott ejected Tigers catcher James McCann and manager Brad Ausmus over a close pitch to Cleveland’s Jay Bruce that was called ball four.

As Wolcott was being examined by a trainer and talking to the other umpires, he appeared on a TV replay to ask them: “They didn’t do it on purpose, did they?”

The Tigers had bickered with Wolcott throughout the game about his strike zone before he was hit. After Detroit lost 5-3, Farmer, Ausmus and Hicks vehemently denied any intent to deliberately hit Wolcott, who remained in the game after being hit in the third inning.

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