Tigers' Buck Farmer: 'Appalling' to imply hitting ump was intentional

The Detroit Tigers vehemently denied that they intentionally hit home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott with a pitch during Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer, who threw the pitch that eluded catcher John Hicks and struck Wolcott in the shoulder, disputed that the incident was planned.

"The fact that's even a question is appalling," Farmer said. "It shouldn't be a question. When you look at the situation, it's stupid to even think about. It shouldn't even be a thought from anybody that Hicks and I would do that.''

The incident occurred two batters after manager Brad Ausmus and Tigers catcher James McCann were ejected with the Indians leading 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning. McCann was tossed when he turned to argue with Wolcott after Cleveland's Jay Bruce drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs. Ausmus came out to confront Wolcott and was also ejected.

Hicks took over for McCann behind the plate. With Yandy Diaz batting with the bases loaded, Farmer threw an inside fastball that sailed past Hicks' glove and hit Wolcott in the shoulder.

Hicks, rather than turning to check on Wolcott, picked up the ball and walked toward Farmer.

"Obviously, it looked bad right after Brad and [McCann] got tossed," Hicks said. "But it's bases loaded, and we're trying to win a baseball game. Any thought of us trying to do that on purpose is just ridiculous."

Farmer tweeted after the game that he didn't mean to strike Wolcott with the pitch.

Ausmus, who was watching the game in the visitor's clubhouse after being ejected, said he was upset by a suggestion made during the Indians' broadcast that Farmer and Hicks had planned to hit Wolcott.

"To imply that was intentional is, first of all, a lie," Ausmus told the Detroit Free Press. "If any player intentionally tried to hurt an umpire on this team, we'd deal with it severely. For anyone to imply it was intentional is completely wrong. They are out of line in saying that, quite frankly."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.