MLB investigating if Kevin Pillar shouted anti-gay slur at pitcher

Major League Baseball is investigating whether Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar used an anti-gay slur toward an Atlanta Braves pitcher during Wednesday's game, commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed on Thursday.

Pillar struck out swinging to end the seventh inning and claimed he was quick-pitched by Jason Motte, yelling toward the mound before Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki stepped in to calm things as the benches cleared. The Blue Jays outfielder apologized for his reaction after the game but did not indicate what he said on the field.

When asked Thursday whether Pillar was being investigated for use of an anti-gay slur, Manfred said: "We were made aware of an allegation along the lines of what you've described, and we're in the process of trying to gather the facts as a prelude to determine whether and what discipline is appropriate.''

On Wednesday, Pillar told the Toronto Sun "it was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for. ... It's part of the game. It's just I'm a competitive guy, and [it was] heat of the moment.

"Obviously, I'm going to do whatever I've got to do to reach out and apologize and let him know he didn't do anything wrong. It was all me."

Pillar's reaction was followed by a second benches-clearing incident in the eighth inning, after slugger Jose Bautista homered to left field, stood at home plate and stared toward pitcher Eric O'Flaherty before flipping the bat away with a towering toss.

No punches were thrown in either altercation. The Braves went on to win 8-4.

In 2012, then-Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar, now with the Los Angeles Angels, was suspended three games without pay for displaying an anti-gay slur on his eye-black.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press contributed to this report.