Tampa Bay relief pitcher Joel Peralta was ejected during the eighth inning of their 5-4 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday after umpires found pine tar on his glove.
The Nationals, who Peralta played for in 2010, requested his glove be examined shortly after he entered the game in the eighth inning. The glove was confiscated and Peralta ejected.
Pine tar is normally used by batters to improve their grip on the bat so it does not slip out of their hands.
The Rays were incensed at the decision, with manager Joe Maddon angry the Nationals had seemingly singled Peralta out because he had played with them previously.
"It's bogus, that's way too easy," Maddon told reporters. "It's kind of a common practice that people have done this for years.
"If you had done really good police work and noticed something from a distance that's one thing, but that's way too easy.
"To point one guy out because he had pitched there, where there's probably some common knowledge based on that, I thought it was a real cowardly ... move."
In a bit of retaliatory gamesmanship, Maddon requested that umpires check the glove of Washington reliever Ryan Mattheus in the ninth, though there were no findings.
Peralta, who gave a mock tip of his cap to the Nationals bench upon being ejected, was clearly annoyed following the game.
"I played one year here and did my best to win games," he said. "I don't care what they do. Good for them, they still lost the game."
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)