Nationals’ Trea Turner benched for not hustling

July 25, 2018
DELETES REFERENCE TO TURNER BEING EJECTED - Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez yells after Trea Turner was called out on strikes during the second inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, July 23, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner was benched for Tuesday night’s game against Milwaukee, a day after failing to run to first base after a fourth-inning bunt in a 6-1 loss.

Wilmer Difo started at shortstop in place of Turner, who angered Nationals manager Dave Martinez on Monday night. Turner said he put the bat up in “self-defense” because he thought he was going to be hit by the pitch and inadvertently put the ball in play.

“I ended up bunting it fair somehow. By the time I got my feet underneath me, the pitcher was already standing right there,” Turner said after Monday’s game. “I probably should have run to first.”

Turner spiked his helmet to the ground after the play.

Martinez said after Monday’s game that he initially thought Turner had been hit by the pitch from Jhoulys Chacin, who retrieved the ball in front of the plate and tagged out Turner.

“I was like, why would he walk off the field? In that moment, we are trying to win a ballgame,” Martinez said.

After Monday’s game, Martinez said there was a good chance Turner wouldn’t play on Tuesday. Martinez said Tuesday that Turner needed time to think about his actions.

“I felt after yesterday that he probably needed a day off,” Martinez said. “Let him ponder about it. We need Trea, and he’s a very good player. I don’t ask these guys to be perfect, but I want them to be present, and I know he knows that. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association on Tuesday announced Turner as the Nationals’ winner of the 2018 Heart & Hustle Award.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball