Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols set off a chain of events this week leading to a rare baseball occurrence.
In a throwback to Little League days, Tim McClelland did some plate umpiring from behind the mound Tuesday after another ump was injured in the Brewers' 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
In the game, Pujols played the field for the first time since his off-season surgery on his right knee, setting off an unusual chain of events. With two outs in the top of the first, he was hit by a pitch from Peralta. The ball deflected and broke plate umpire Seth Buckminster's left hand.
Buckminster left the game along with umpire Anthony Johnson, who changed into home-plate gear. After a few minutes, with McClelland and Jim Joyce as the only two umpires left on the field, play resumed for four batters, with McClelland calling pitches from behind the mound.
"Just keep it moving," McClelland told The Associated Press. "We didn't want people to sit. Both managers agreed to it, and I knew it wasn't going to be long. This way we didn't have to sit and could keep the game going."
Ryan Braun was two pitches into his at-bat when Johnson emerged from the right-field corner to applause from the 5,566 at Maryvale Baseball Stadium.
"It's still baseball," Rickie Weeks of the Brewers said. "Guys still have to go out there and play hard. It's just unfortunate for the umpire who was out there. Only in spring training."
It was the second day in a row the Brewers watched the plate umpire leave the game early. On Monday, Cleveland's Mark Reynolds hit Patrick Mahoney on the head with the follow through of his swing, causing a 12-minute delay.
"That's what we tried to get them to do the other day and they wouldn't do it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of the two-man crew. "McClelland isn't worried about it, he just wants to keep the game moving. You get a great view from back there. You really do. It's almost better than behind the plate."
Meanwhile, Pujols is adjusting to his new role with the team.
"I'm too young to DH," Pujols said with a laugh. "I could have played nine innings, right now but playing nine innings now is being selfish."
Pujols has thrived in the DH role this spring to the tune of a .350 average (7 for 20) with two home runs and five RBIs.
"It's different," Pujols said. "I've taught my body to be on the field all the time and when you have to teach your body something different it's tough."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.