240424 Luke Little [600x400]
240424 Luke Little [600x400] (Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO -- Cubs reliever Luke Little said he had to change his glove before he entered Wednesday night's 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros because of an American flag patch.

Manager Craig Counsell went to insert Little with one out in the seventh inning. But as the 6-foot-8 left-hander went through the usual check by umpires for pitchers coming into the game, he was told he had to swap out his glove.

"The issue was the American flag was on his glove," Counsell said. "Pitchers' gloves, they're pretty strict about not having white on the pitchers' gloves. Apparently the flag had what could be a distraction to the hitter."

As Little went to the mound to warm up for his ninth appearance of the season and No. 16 for his career, a clubhouse attendant went to his locker to find a replacement. The first glove he brought to Little also had an American flag patch, so he went back to get another one -- which hadn't been broken in.

"I had to beat it a little bit, try and get it flexed out," Little said. "Of all the things to do is breaking in a glove during a game."

The 23-year-old Little, a North Carolina native, said he has been using the same glove since Class A ball. After the issue was resolved, he retired each of the two batters he faced.

Following the victory, Little posted "Proud to be an American ... Go Cubs Go" on social media, along with a flag emoji and a GIF of wrestler Hulk Hogan playing a guitar in front of an American flag.

"The clubbies told me that they had got an email from MLB that I'm not allowed to wear it," he told the AP. "But I just didn't assume that they were just going to just cut me. It's not like it has an advantage in the game. It's not like it blinds the hitters. Just representing my country.

"Just a whole debacle. Got to get ready without it and throw through it."

A message was left late Wednesday night seeking comment from MLB.