SAN DIEGO -- A simple piece of chewing gum turned the heat up between two teams with championship aspirations.
Angel Pagan and Padres catcher Derek Norris exchanged words in the top of the ninth inning of a 1-0 Giants win, and afterward Pagan explained that the tiff started after he accidentally threw a piece of gum under Norris' legs. As Pagan told it, he stepped into the batter's box and saw a dirty piece of gum where he would place his foot. He picked it up and tried to throw it aside, but the stickum on his gloves mixed with the gum and it flew directly under Norris, not away from the plate as intended.
"It's nothing to be mad at," Pagan said. "That's his game face, I respect that ... But I didn't do anything wrong."
As Pagan started to tell the story, he warned reporters: "If I tell you, you're going to laugh." He went out of his way to say the incident is "in the past."
"That's not a thing I like to happen," Pagan said. "But that's the nature of the (game). We're playing with so much adrenaline."
That showed on the next pitch when Craig Kimbrel, the new Padres closer threw a fastball up and in. Pagan countered with a triple to deep center and he crouched and screamed as he straddled the bag. He admitted he was angry in the moment.
"I get excited, but I was angry," he said. "I didn't feel I did anything wrong and then I got thrown at right here in my chest."
The Giants got the last laugh, winning in the 12th inning.
"It was a great game overall," Pagan said. "It was a very fun game, interesting, fun. Everything."