White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu had already been plunked twice, by starter Roenis Elias in the sixth and reliever Danny Farquhar in the top of the eighth. Catcher Mike Zunino was hit by White Sox starter Scott Carroll in the bottom of the sixth after Abreu was hit the first time.
Morales went to first base without incident after being hit by Cleto, but Basner immediately issued a warning that any further incidents would lead to an ejection. After arguing the decision, McClendon was tossed for the third time this season and the 21st time in his managerial career.
"I just had a simple question," McClendon said. "If he thought he threw at him, you ought to throw him out of the game. It's just that simple. He said, 'You can't argue with a warning.' I said, 'I'm not arguing the warning. If you thought he threw at him, you ought to throw him out of the game.' That's all. I thought it was intentional.
"I get it. I understand baseball. I get all of that stuff. Your guy got hit twice, my catcher got hit. I get all of that stuff. But if you thought he threw at him, then he should be ejected from the game. Not a warning."
Asked if Cleto hit Morales on purpose, White Sox manager Robin Ventura noted his team's pitching problems in the lopsided loss.
"If he can spot that good, we wouldn't have been in the trouble we were in," Ventura said.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.