ARLINGTON -- Rookie reliever Vinnie Pestano had only talked with Indians manager Manny Acta on the mound under two scenarios. Acta was either pulling Pestano from a game or bringing the right-hander in to pitch.
In the eighth inning of Friday's 8-7, 11-inning loss to the Rangers, Acta found another reason to chat with Pestano. The conversation was purely one-sided, though, and Acta was hardly calm as he delivered a heated message to the reliever on the mound.
"He might've been chewing me out," Pestano said, "but that wasn't the way I took it. I can't remember the exact conversation, but I got the gist of what he was trying to do. He challenged me to go out there and attack guys."
With one out and Cleveland clinging to a 7-5 lead at the time, Pestano issued a walk to Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland. Entering the outing, the reliever had a 7.36 ERA in his previous 13 appearances. Acta took one look at Pestano walking around the mound and decided a quick meeting was needed.
"I just wanted him to change his body language a little bit," Acta explained. "I felt that he was walking around and acting a little more like the victim instead of being aggressive. That's what that was all about. I was trying to get him going.
"I just felt it was the right moment. I could see in between pitches how he was reacting and stuff. I just didn't like it. I thought that he needed to get his swagger back."
After listening to Acta's message, the pitcher finished off the eighth inning with consecutive strikeouts to Yorvit Torrealba and Endy Chavez. Pestano said Acta's stern strategy was precisely what he needed in that situation.
"I'm not the type of player that needs to be coddled," Pestano said. "I need people to get in my face. That's what the situation called for. If somebody is going to go out there, especially the manager over the pitching coach, I respond better to people challenging me.
"When I came to the dugout, I told him that's how he needs to talk to me. That's the first time he's come out to the mound, I believe, without taking me out of a game or bringing me in. He knows I'm kind of a high-strung, high-energy guy.
"Going out there and trying to rub my back isn't exactly going to get the job done."