Flowers ejected after sparking Braves 8-5 victory

Tyler Flowers had three doubles on Thursday night, but it is what he did behind the plate that will garner all the attention.

In the ninth inning of an 8-5 Braves victory over the Marlins, Flowers was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes.

He became frustrated after the first pitch of Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria’s at-bat and he lashed out at home plate umpire Larry Vanover. Flowers had to be restrained by Braves interim manager Brian Snitker as he continued to argue after his ejection.

“I felt like it was a blatant strike and there comes a point where you got to do something,” Flowers said. “It is better me than the pitcher getting ejected.”

Flowers said he encouraged Vanover to keep the calls consistent. When that didn’t happen, he ultimately decided to speak his mind.

“It definitely was more than a few pitches before as it was definitely throughout the night,” he said. “It seemed like it was both sides. In my opinion and what I saw, it wasn’t a very good (strike) zone all night. Sometimes you try to work with them and encourage them that they need to look at some pitches better. He didn’t really seem to be taking to my advice and in the ninth, that situation gets tight there at the end.”

Snitker said he would need to look at a replay to see exactly what happened. In the moment, he said that Vanover explained to him that the balls were missing the plate.

“I’ll have to look,” he said. “For Tyler to react like that, I’ve got to believe Tyler right there. He’s as professional as they come. You get that reaction out of him, I’ve got to think he’s got a pretty good reason for it.”

Flowers became the fourth Brave to get ejected in the last two weeks. He joined Snitker and outfielder Jeff Francoeur as the latest to be thrown out in the last eight games.

Before his exit, Flowers had been swinging a hot bat. His three doubles were a career-high for him and in his last 94 at-bats, Flowers has hit five homers and eight doubles. That pushed his batting average over .250 for the season.

“I’m still searching for the consistency,” he said. “Yesterday wasn’t good but today was good. Hopefully, that is the start of something longer than a couple days. I need it to be couple weeks, if not a couple months. Then I might have a smile at the end.”

Snitker thinks Flowers is starting to come around and is happy to see him go through a hot stretch.

“He’s been swinging the bat really good,” Snitker said. “He’s had some good two-strike at-bats. When I first came here (as interim manager) he had a little stretch like that, too. He was really hot. Happy for him, good for us.”