HOUSTON (KABC) -- Yuli Gurriel launched a huge second inning for the Houston Astros, blasting a solo home run to left field off Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
But much of the talk on social media after Game 3 of the World Series was about a gesture he made a short time after that was seen as racist.
Gurriel slanted his eyes in an apparent reference to Darvish's Asian heritage and used the term "Chinito."
The term means Chinese in Spanish, or more accurately could be translated as "little Chinese man." In most contexts, it is seen as derogatory, particularly when used about someone who is Asian, but not of Chinese descent.
Darvish was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and an Iranian father.
After the game Gurriel said he didn't mean to offend Darvish and noted that he played in Japan. Gurriel, 33, is from Cuba and played in Japan in 2014.
"I didn't want to offend anybody," he said through a translator in a lockerroom interview. "I didn't want to offend him or nobody in Japan. I have a lot of respect, I play in Japan."
"In Cuba we call everybody who is from Asia, Chino. We don't call them Japanese or Chinese. We call them Chino."
Darvish said he was angry and felt the gesture was disrespectful.
"Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans," Darvish noted through a translator after the game. "Acting like that is just disrespectful to people around the world."
He then called for Gurriel to learn from the mistake.
"Including him and I, nobody's perfect. Everybody's different. We're just going to have to learn from it. He made a mistake. We're just going to learn from it. We are all human beings. Just learn from it and we have to move forward."
After the game, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he was made aware of the gesture.
"I know he's remorseful," Hinch said.
The Associated Press reported that Major League Baseball officials intend to speak with Gurriel and he faces possible punishment which could range up to a suspension during the World Series.