Astros' Fiers threw behind Valbuena after 'disrespectful' bat flip

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

As the Los Angeles Angels were torching him to the tune of eight earned runs during his 3 2/3 innings of work Wednesday night, Houston Astros starter Mike Fiers felt that he was the victim of some disrespect.

So he took matters into his own hands.

The source of Fiers' anger came in the first inning, when Angels third baseman Luis Valbuena - a former Astros teammate of Fiers - unleashed a vicious bat flip to punctuate his two-run homer that essentially sealed the game's outcome.

Valbuena faced Fiers again to lead off the fourth inning, and the first pitch of that at-bat sailed over Valbuena's head all the way to the backstop, prompting warnings to be issued to both teams.

Fiers admitted after the game that there was intent behind that fourth-inning pitch.

"What he did to me, I took it as disrespect," Fiers said, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "Obviously, I played with Valbuena and I have no hard feeling towards him, but when you do something like that, as disrespectful as he did, you've got to send some kind of message. I'm not trying to hit him, but something has to be said."

Valbuena appeared to take it all in stride. After appearing to gesture that Fiers should be quiet, he laced the next pitch for a double and later scored another run in the Angels' 9-1 victory. Later, the 31-year-old sent a message of his own to his old friend in the visiting clubhouse.

"I enjoyed my home run," Valbuena said. "If he wants to hit me, it's OK, but if I hit another home run, you'll see what happens."

For the record, Valbuena's performance raised his season slash line to .199/.290/.434. Fiers, meanwhile, saw his ERA spike to 5.22 after his disastrous outing.

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Astros' Fiers threw behind Valbuena after 'disrespectful' bat flip
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