Acta pulls Lopez for not hustling
WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals second baseman Felipe Lopez was removed from Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh by manager Manny Acta for not running out a ground ball to second base in the fifth inning.
“I love Felipe,” Acta said. “I’ve known Felipe longer than anybody in this locker room ... but that being said, he’s under everybody’s rule.
“We said it from the beginning: we’re going to play hard. We’re going to play right, and we’re probably going to have to outhustle the opposition. It’s not going to be tolerated, regardless of who you are.
Lopez declined to speak to reporters after the game. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two groundouts to second.
It was the second time this season Acta, a first-year manager, has removed a starter for a perceived lack of hustle.
Ryan Church did not run through first base on a ground ball against Florida on April 23 and was taken out of the game.
“You run it out or get taken out,” Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “I think the message is already loud and clear. He has told us how he wants us to play, and if you don’t do it, I guess you come out. It’s not like he’s using Felipe as an example. We all know the rules.”