Missed sign led to Dodgers' steal try

Updated: April 23, 2011, 1:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CHICAGO -- A.J. Ellis' first career steal attempt was a memorable one, at least for the Chicago Cubs.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Saturday a missed sign led to Ellis' dash for second during the series opener that irked Cubs manager Mike Quade.

Los Angeles was leading 8-1 on Friday when the catcher attempted to steal second with pitcher Chad Billingsley at the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Geovany Soto threw him out, but Quade was still peeved after the Cubs' 12-2 loss at Wrigley Field.

Mattingly and Quade talked before Saturday's game, and the Cubs manager called his counterpart "a class guy."

Mattingly, in his first year as Dodgers manager, confirmed it was a mix-up but defended a running play in that situation.

"Long story short, we missed the sign," Mattingly said. "We weren't trying to run there. Definitely weren't going to run A.J. We weren't doing it but it is Wrigley and the other day we did give up eight runs in the ninth. We're trying to win a game, but we weren't running there."

Los Angeles surrendered eight runs in the ninth inning of a 10-1 loss against Atlanta on Tuesday.

Mattingly said third base coach Tim Wallach mistakenly thought Mattingly wanted a hit-and-run and gave the sign for such a play. Wallach, realizing his mistake, then waved the play off, but Ellis, who had seen the initial sign, didn't see the wave-off.

Quade apparently also hasn't forgotten about Carlos Gomez stealing second and third with Milwaukee leading Chicago 5-0 in the eighth inning April 9. Gomez went on to score the Brewers' final run in a 6-0 victory.

"I do think that I probably need to get a copy of the Milwaukee and L.A. unwritten rules books, I think, too," Quade said, unprompted, Friday. "I don't know if they missed a sign or not sure if it was a hit-and-run or something. I've got to brush up on my unwritten rule things."

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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