The Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves rarely play each other, but that didn’t stop the clubs from having some serious beef Wednesday night.
In the seventh inning of the teams’ matchup at SunTrust Park, Braves pitcher Jason Motte appeared to “quick pitch” Kevin Pillar, intentionally shortening his delivery to strike out the Blue Jays outfielder on a slider.
Pillar took exception to Motte’s strategy and barked something at the right-hander, causing the benches to clear.
A closer look at the replay appears to show Pillar yelling a homophobic slur at Motte.
Pillar apologized for the incident after the game, calling his actions “immature” and stupid,” via the Toronto Star.
“It’s part of the game, it’s just, I’m a competitive guy and (got caught in the) heat of the moment,” Pillar added. “Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let (Motte) know he didn’t do anything wrong. It was all me.”
The 28-year-old still could face disciplinary action, though, as Major League Baseball confirmed Thursday it is investigating Pillar’s remarks.
MLB declined to comment further, but there is a precedent for discipline, as Toronto suspended shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games after he wrote a homophobic slur in Spanish on his eye black.
Pillar’s comments weren’t the only drama in this contest, as the Braves also took offense to Jose Bautista’s bat flip on a home run in the eighth inning. Atlanta got the last laugh, however, holding on for an 8-4 win.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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