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Umps calls pitches from behind mound, Pujols at 1B

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm •  Published: March 19, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) — Something sounded very, very strange to Milwaukee Brewers starter Wily Peralta.

When he threw pitches to Josh Hamilton in the first inning, Peralta heard the umpire calling them — from over his left shoulder.

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.

"When he called 'ball' behind me, I just looked behind me," Peralta said.

In a game where Angels first baseman Albert Pujols played the field for the first time since offseason surgery on his right knee, the big slugger set 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 left 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 said. "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."

Hamilton grounded to end the top of the first. Norichika Aoki singled to start the bottom half and Rickie Weeks homered deep to left.

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," Weeks 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.

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