TORONTO — The Pirates took two outta three here, giving them their first interleague series win on the road since June 13-15, 2003, against Tampa Bay. But what most Bucs fans probably are buzzing about tonight is Matt Diaz’s outta-my-way slide that riled Jay shortstop Yunel Escobar.
In the seventh inning, Diaz was on first base when Lyle Overbay hit a grounder. Diaz bowled into Escobar, busting up a potential double play. “Escobar’s a great player,” Diaz said. “He doesn’t get away from the bag very much.”
Escobar didn’t throw, but he did give Diaz a swipe in the ribs at the end of the play. Diaz went back to the dugout and fumed. Escobar did the same thing after the inning, smashing cups and yelling angrily. Diaz and Escobar were teammates in Atlanta from 2007-10. Escobar was still steamed about a play Tuesday, when Diaz made a spikes-up slide into second base. The two players barked at each other yesterday afternoon during batting practice.
“He let me know he wasn’t thrilled about the other day when I got him,” Diaz said. “I went and looked at the film and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it at all. Today, it was a case of he started dropping the arm angle down low, so I had to get lower. As I got lower, my legs got higher.”
Between them, Overbay and Diaz have 18 years’ experience. But they played the game like kids tonight with an all-out style.
“We have to show them that we’re on board too. It’s not just the young guys,” Overbay said. “That’s how you break up a double play. Matt’s a little faster than me, so I don’t get as many opportunties. It comes back to we have to do everything to the maximum.”