Tempers flared in the second inning of Friday’s Marlins-Braves opener when Atlanta right-hander Kevin Gausman lobbed a 97.1-m.p.h. fastball behind Miami starter José Ureña. While the ball didn’t make contact with Ureña, the intent behind the pitch was enough to get Gausman ejected by home plate umpire Jeff Nelson.
The brush-off pitch appeared to be an attempted retribution for the hit-by-pitch Ureña delivered to Ronald Acuña Jr. last summer. Acuña was plunked on the elbow during his first at-bat of the game and, crucially, in the middle of his ongoing home run streak as well. It elicited no shortage of strong emotions from players and fans alike, and both Ureña and Braves manager Brian Snitker were ejected in the aftermath.
No one rushed to Ureña’s defense on Friday (though Snitker was again ejected after defending Gausman), but he remained in the game and took first base on a four-pitch walk from Touki Toussaint. On the mound, he tossed six innings of five-run, three-walk, four-strikeout ball, and gave up two home runs to Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann in the first and sixth, respectively.
The Braves currently lead the Marlins 5-2 in the seventh. No official statement has been issued by either Gausman or the Braves regarding the incident.