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Mariners' Hector Santiago first player ejected amid crackdown on sticky substances

June 27 (UPI) -- Seattle Mariners left-hander Hector Santiago was ejected in the fifth inning of Sunday's doubleheader opener against the Chicago White Sox after umpires detected a sticky substance on his glove.

Santiago, who is the first pitcher ejected under the league's new rule regarding foreign substances, claims he only used rosin on what was a humid day at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

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"[Umpire Phil Cuzzi] said he felt some sticky stuff on the inside of the glove," Santiago told reporters after the Mariners' 3-2 win over the White Sox. "All I used was rosin. I used it on both sides, trying to keep that sweat from dripping down to the hands.

"... What they told me was you can't use rosin on the glove hand. When I use rosin, I dab on both sides. The umpire said you couldn't use it on the glove hand."

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The 33-year-old Santiago was removed from the game after allowing two walks and two hits in the inning. The 10-year MLB veteran, who was in his third inning of work, was checked for the first time when the glove confiscation happened.

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Under the league's new rule on inspecting pitchers for foreign sticky substances, Santiago was forced to hand over his glove to Cuzzi, who ejected the pitcher moments after examining the mitt. Replays appeared to show the umpires checking the inside of Santiago's glove.

"What we do is we go around the whole glove, feeling for anything that would be sticky or something," crew chief Tom Hallion said. "It was very noticeable, and then the rest of the crew inspected to make sure we were all in agreement. All four agreed that it was a sticky substance and that's why he was ejected."

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After the umpires determined that Santiago needed to be ejected, the glove was handed to a league official, who was seen wrapping the mitt in preparation for it to be sent to New York for further evaluation.

"Once they take it back and check it, it's just sweat and rosin," Santiago said. "If they're going to do all this science stuff, it's going to be sweat and rosin. We'll be all right."

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Mariners manager Scott Servais added: "It's about 85-90% humidity today. He had rosin all over himself. When you put rosin on sweat, it gets sticky. Our guys are doing the right thing. We're following the rules."

Santiago could face a 10-game suspension for the violation and the team wouldn't be able to replace him on the roster during that time frame. He also could be cleared of any wrongdoing once the glove is further examined.

Santiago is playing in his first season with the Mariners. He entered Sunday's game with a 1-1 record and 2.45 ERA over eight appearances.

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