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Russell gets feisty

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It is just me, or is manager John Russell a bit feistier these days?

Sunday afternoon, the Pirates’ skipper was ejected in the eighth inning after disputing the call by first base umpire Bill Hohn on Russell Branyan’s double. Russell argued the ball was foul; a video replay seemed to show the ball landed on the line just beyond first base.

After Russell came onto the field, the four umpires briefly huddled, apparently discussing Hohn’s call. When that meeting broke up, Russell started back toward the dugout. Russell paused and said something to home plate umpire Paul Emmel, who immediately gave Russell the hook.

It was the fourth time in his career — and second time in a span of 27 games this season — Russell had been tossed.

Thursday night, Russell ran onto the field to argue when Andrew McCutchen was called out on a close play — replays indicated McCutchen beat the throw — at first base.

»»» Russell’s fireworks generated applause from the crowd of 29,845. They cheered again when reliever Brendan Donnelly got out of the jam without allowing a run.

Branyan’s double gave the Indians runners on second and third with none out and the score tied, 3-3. Donnelly got Jhonny Peralta to fly out to shallow center and Anderson Hernandez to ground out.

Jason Donald worked a full count, then grounded to short. After being called out emphatically by Hohn on a bang-bang play, Donald jumped into the air, hollered and threw his batting gloves onto the dirt. The first base coach guided Donald back to the dugout, ending the outburst before there was another ejection.

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