Braves' Nunez irked by Dukes
Outfielder pounds chest after drawing game-winning walk
WASHINGTON -- After drawing a bases-loaded walk to send home the winning run against the Braves in the 10th inning on Saturday night, Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes pounded his chest in front of Atlanta right-hander Vladimir Nunez, who wasn't happy about the gesture.
Nunez could understand if Dukes would've done so if he collected a base hit, but not on a walk.
"I think it was disrespectful," Nunez said. "If it's a double, triple or grand slam, he can do whatever he wants to celebrate. But after a walk, with a good pitch, and you make a jump like you hit a grand slam, that's unprofessional. I did not agree with what happened. He took the pitch, and I take my hat off to him if I have to. But at that moment, the guy is not even swinging. He jumped as if he hit a grand slam."
Nationals manager Manny Acta declined to talk about Dukes' celebratory gesture. Acta would only talk about the quality at-bat Dukes had in the 10th inning.
"He had a good at-bat," Acta said. "He battled back [from] 1-2 and ended up with that walk."
Dukes was unavailable for comment.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.