WASHINGTON D.C. -- Bryce Harper was ejected, Clint Robinson hit a walk-off homer, then Harper rushed onto the field and joined the rest of his team in celebration. All in a matter of seconds.
The Washington Nationals (20-12) sent Robinson to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning. The 31-year-old sent the baseball over the fence to give the Nationals a 5-4 walk-off win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Moments before, Harper was ejected from the baseball game after Danny Espinosa struck out looking. Nationals manager Dusty Baker and many other players, including Harper, argued about the call. However, it was just Harper who umpire Brian Knight ejected.
"He's an emotional young man, like most of us on the field out there," Baker said. "You certainly don't like him to get tossed, but every once in a while, you've got to blow off some steam or else you go crazy."
The media told Harper after the game that the cameras captured him cursing at Knight, using an extremely vulgar word. He said: "Absolutely. I was pretty upset. ... So let him hear what I have to say -- and let him hear it again. And, you know, so what?"
Asked whether he expects to be fined, Harper said: "If I do, I do. I'll pay it. Maybe he'll get fined, too. So we'll see."
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Harper is facing a possible fine or suspension for his actions against the Tigers. Players are not allowed to return to the field after being ejected, which is why he will most likely be punished by the MLB.
Once the play resumed, Robinson launched a home run to win the game for the Nationals off Mark Lowe. It gave the Tigers their seventh straight loss of the season.
"Rounding first, I thought it was a go-ahead homer," Robinson said. "Thinking it was the eighth inning probably had a little bit of a calming effect on me, maybe, going to the plate. Thinking it's just the eighth inning -- just another pinch-hit at-bat, no big deal."
Robinson realized it was a walk-off winner after he rounded third base and noticed his entire team -- including Harper -- waiting for him.
"Knowing it was a walk-off homer made it that much sweeter," he said.
The Tigers (14-17) broke open the game in the top of the first inning on a two-run shot by Nick Castellanos, his sixth home run of the season. Castellanos is batting .380 with six home runs, 26 RBI, one stolen base and a 1.017 OPS this season.
Daniel Murphy cut the deficit of the Nationals to one run against the Tigers with a single to center field, scoring Anthony Rendon in the bottom of the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, J.D. Martinez hit his fourth home run of the season for Detroit. The home run snapped a 0-for-18 skid and increased his team's lead to 4-1.
Stephen Strasburg (5-0, 2.76 ERA) led the charge for the Nationals, tossing 7.0 innings of work on Monday. The right-handed pitcher allowed four runs on six hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts, which is a season-high.
Murphy, who was signed by the Nationals this winter, was back at it again with a two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning. The shot cut Washington's deficit to one run. Murphy is batting .398 with five home runs, 20 RBI, one stolen base and a 1.102 OPS this season. In the next inning, Ben Revere flew out with the bases loaded and it allowed Michael Taylor to score to tie the game, 4-4.
Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 5.89 ERA), the starting pitcher for the Tigers, allowed four runs on six hits and three walks during 6.0 innings. The righty struck out just two batters.
The final hit of the game was off the bat of Robinson in the bottom of the ninth inning against Lowe. It was a pinch-hit walk-off winner that traveled 376 feet and left the bat at 104 miles per hour.
"Everything's not going our way," said J.D. Martinez
The Tigers will send Michael Fulmer (1-1, 6.30 ERA) to the slab in hopes of breaking a seven-game losing skid. Joe Ross (3-1, 1.23 ERA) will oppose Fulmer, who is making this third career start in the big leagues.