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Gibson revs up D-backs after first ejection

Gibson revs up D-backs after first ejection

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Gibson revs up D-backs after first ejection
PHOENIX -- It took Kirk Gibson until his 93rd game as manager to be ejected, and he certainly made it memorable.

The D-backs skipper engaged in a heated confrontation with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson with the two going bill-to-bill in the third inning after Davidson ruled Miguel Montero had gone around on a checked swing.

"We disagreed, obviously," Gibson said after the D-backs' 13-8 win over the Cardinals. "I'm not going to get into what was said or why. I think it's fairly obvious. Probably smarter not to talk about it."

The trouble between the two started in the first inning with Montero at the plate.

Davidson ruled that Montero went around on a checked swing with runners at first and third and two outs in the inning. Montero reacted angrily to the call and Gibson sprinted from the dugout to make sure that his catcher would not be ejected.

At that time, Gibson did not go all the way out to Davidson, but rather escorted Montero the rest of the way into the dugout.

"I thought I never swung," said Montero, who wanted Davidson to ask third-base umpire Jerry Layne for help on the play. "It's a tough situation. I've got an RBI situation and I want to bring them in some way somehow and [Davidson] didn't give me a chance. He didn't give me a break. I think [Chris] Carpenter's a good enough pitcher. He doesn't need any help."

Gibson did have some words for Davidson when Davidson said something to Montero as the catcher squatted behind the plate for the next inning.

Then in the third, with runners on first and third again, Davidson again ruled that Montero went around on the first pitch of the at-bat. Replays showed it was a near carbon copy of the controversial checked swing in the first.

This time, rather than argue, Montero grinned.

"What you want me to do?" Montero said. "I'm not going to fight again. I just smiled."

Gibson, though, was not as forgiving. Whatever he yelled from the dugout earned him an ejection before he even set foot on the field. Once ejected, though, he made sure to get his money's worth as he sprinted from the dugout to confront Davidson.

"I just did what I had to do," Gibson said. "We had a disagreement. He's been in the game a long time, I've been in the game a long time and that's just the way it worked out."

Arizona right fielder Justin Upton, who smashed a 478-foot homer in the second inning, said Gibson's tirade lit a fire under the D-backs.

"You know that your manager has your back and he's going to fight for you," Upton said. "It definitely brings a little bit of energy to your team. We know he's an intense manager and he loves the game and wants us to play it right. As long as we're playing the game right, he's got our back."

Montero was asked what Gibson and Davidson said to each other.

"I don't know, I just [walked] away," Montero said. "I didn't want to hear anything because you know they went after it, man. That's good. It's a good feeling to have some support behind you. It felt even better when he got thrown out of the game. It fired me up. It gave some enthusiasm to the team."

Gibson said he watched the rest of the game on television from his office, saying he preferred to let bench coach Alan Trammell run the game without interference.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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