MILWAUKEE -- Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was ejected in the 10th inning of Tuesday's 8-7 win over the Brewers and likely faces a suspension from Major League Baseball for his actions.
Molina was tossed after arguing a called third strike with home-plate umpire Rob Drake. Molina made contact with Drake before being thrown out and had more words with the umpire while third-base coach Jose Oquendo tried to hold him back.
He argued after the game that Drake initiated the contact, but contact between player and umpire under almost any circumstances virtually always draws a suspension from the league. Shortstop Ryan Theriot recently received two games, later dropped to one, for incidental contact with an umpire in a game in Cincinnati.
"That was a bad call," Molina said. "Obviously, if you see the replay, that was a really bad call for him. Then after that, he was arguing and he touched me."
As the confrontation went on, it appeared that Drake wiped his face as though some kind of liquid flew onto him. Molina emphatically denied that he spit on Drake.
"I would never spit on a face of any man," Molina said. "That's not me. I was so sweaty. My face was so sweaty. I was standing, yelling at him. I would never spit on anybody's face. I don't know what it was. When I was inside, I saw the replay and he was [wiping his face]. In the moment, I don't see anything. I didn't spit on his face. I don't do that."
The pitch was thrown by Brewers reliever Marco Estrada, who entered in the 10th inning of an already heated game. Molina went 2-for-5 and was replaced by Gerald Laird.
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa acknowledged that his catcher was out of line.
"It's an exhausting day, he's trying really hard and his emotions got the better of him," La Russa said. "He did touch the umpire. That's not acceptable."
The umpiring crew declined comment, through the Brewers, after the game. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he did not know whether to expect discipline to come down from Major League Baseball prior to Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. CT game between the two clubs.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.