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Verdugo: Umpire 'was being soft' to eject me without warning

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Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo wasn't happy with home plate umpire Pat Hoberg's strike zone or itchy trigger finger following his ejection from Tuesday's game without warning.

"I'm not at home plate, I'm sitting on the bench," Verdugo said, according to Masslive's Christopher Smith. "So many people don't know what happened. That's why it was frustrating. You've got to give a warning, and to me, he was being soft."

Verdugo was tossed during the fourth inning of Tuesday's game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Hoberg later ejected manager Alex Cora in the seventh frame for arguing balls and strikes.

"Nothing crazy, nothing bad - (I was) just chirping," Verdugo said, adding that he didn't get an explanation for his ejection. "There was no warning, no nothing. ... It was just a little bit too quick of a trigger for me. That's all."

"I can yell and mess around to any umpire however I feel," he added. "Just because you're yelling at somebody or chirping, doesn't necessarily mean it's about balls or strikes. He was feeling self-conscious because the dugout was already letting him know about some balls and strikes."

Verdugo, 27, is in the midst of a frustrating campaign, hitting .273/.341/.427 with nine homers and four steals. The Red Sox are fighting to stay in the playoff picture and are five games back of the final AL wild-card spot.

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