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A tie and a Red Sox-Yankees controversy

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 22, 2012 10:50 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox and Yankees played to a 4-4 tie on Thursday night, the game ending after nine innings when New York manager Joe Girardi told the umpires he was out of pitchers.

Sox manager Bobby Valentine didn’t buy it.

“They had plenty of pitching. Probably too long of a ride,” Valentine said. “They could have known that going in.”

The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a suicide squeeze bunt by Jason Repko. Ryan Sweeney, who had singled and advanced to third on a double by Mike Aviles, scored easily.

When the inning was over, the Red Sox took the field but were waved off by the umpires. Valentine had righthander Clayton Mortensen warmed up and coming in from the bullpen.

“It was regretful that Mortensen warmed up though and then we were told that they weren’t going to play extra innings. I didn’t think that that was very courteous,” Valentine said.

“The umpire came over and said we couldn’t play. I don’t care about not playing. Why do I have to warm up my pitcher who’s trying to make a team? Come in in a tie game against the Yankees and maybe help him make a team and instead he has to walk off the mound and take a shower. That’s just not very courteous.”

According to their travel roster, the Yankees had seven pitchers available. One of them, D.J. Mitchell, threw in the bullpen during the game and could not have pitched. But the other six could have. The group included Pay Venditte, a pitcher who throws righthanded and lefthanded.

“Usually there's communication between the umpires and the manager and it didn't happen tonight for whatever reason,” Girardi said on his way to the team for the two-and-a-half hour ride back to Tampa. “I didn't know they had another guy.”

Valentine expected that message to come from Girardi.

“Usually you go over and say, ‘Hey, I don’t have any more.’ I don’t know. I haven’t been around in a long time,” he said. “Joe knows better than I. I guess you just walk off the field.

“I’m sure [Girardi] didn’t do anything deliberate. It’s just I have to answer a pitcher who’s trying to make the team."

Mortensen, who is on the 40-man roster, is not considered a strong candidate to make the roster despite having thrown six scoreless innings this spring.

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