Beantown brawl! Yankees fight way to win
Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2018
By Kyle Hightower
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) — Tyler Austin rushed the mound after being hit by a pitch from Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly, triggering a bench-clearing brawl in a ramped-up rivalry as the New York Yankees ended Boston’s nine-game winning streak with a 10-7 victory Wednesday night.
In a matchup between teams that have long tangled, Gary Sanchez hit two home runs in a game that twice saw the benches empty and a fight that resulted in a trio of ejections.
And no telling what might happen in the series finale Thursday night at Fenway Park. Previously, Yankees-Red Sox meetings have included Zim vs. Pedro, A-Rod vs. Varitek and Munson vs. Fisk scuffles.
This time, the benches cleared briefly in the third after Austin’s spikes clipped Brock Holt’s leg on a slide into second base. Holt took issue with the contact and they exchanged words before being separated.
Then with the Yankees leading 10-6 in the seventh, Kelly nearly hit Austin and then caught him on the side with a 2-1 pitch clocked at 98 mph. Austin slammed his bat on the plate, threw it down and took four steps toward the mound while hollering. Kelly waved Austin at him, and things quickly escalated.
The scuffle spilled across the field before it broke up in front of the Boston dugout on the first base side, with Yankees sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton pushing the pile. Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames used both hands to shove Austin all the way across the infield toward the New York dugout.
Austin, Kelly and Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin were ejected.
It was the second bench-clearing brawl of the day in the majors. Colorado star Nolan Arenado charged the mound after being a pitch from San Diego’s Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind him.
New York and Boston have a history of furious fights.
Thurman Munson collided with catcher Carlton Fisk in 1973 after Gene Michael missed a bunt attempt. Three years later, Lou Piniella bowled into Fisk at the plate, and Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee separated a shoulder in the ensuing fighting.
After Roger Clemens threw a pitch under Manny Ramirez’s chin during the 2003 AL Championship Series, Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer charged Pedro Martinez, who hit Karim Garcia with a pitch earlier. Martinez picked up Zimmer and threw him to the ground.
A year later, Boston’s Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch, A-Rod shouted at the pitcher, and Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek punched Rodriguez in the face, setting off a scuffle.
Before the melee, there was some baseball.
The Yankees scored four runs off David Price (1-1) in the first inning before the lefty ace exited the game with a tingling sensation in his pitching hand. Price was shaking his hand during the inning.
New York jumped on Boston’s bullpen, adding four more runs over next three innings.
Masahiro Tanaka (2-1) went five innings, yielding six runs and seven hits and two home runs. Aroldis Chapman gave up two hits and a run on a wild pitch in the ninth, but got three outs to end the game.
Sanchez drove in four runs and Stanton had three hits and three RBIs.
Hanley Ramirez homered in the Boston first.
Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks (right intercostal strain), was 1 for 3 with a double in his second rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LJ Mazzilli was 1 for 4, a day after he was acquired from the Mets organization. Boone said all went well in Hicks’ three at-bats. He said if reports are the same following a second scheduled start Wednesday, Hicks may rejoin the team Thursday.
ERRORLESS STREAK ENDS
Along with its win streak, Boston’s errorless streak to begin the season also ended when catcher Christian Vazquez’s attempt to stop Brett Gardner from stealing second skipped into center field. Gardner advanced to third and later scored an RBI single by Stanton.
Red Sox committed no errors in their first 10 games, the franchise’s longest streak to begin any season. No other team since at least 1913 has begun a season with streak of 10 or more errorless games.
Yankees: RHP Sonny Gray (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will make his third start of the season Thursday. He is 1-4 with a 4.93 ERA in six starts against Boston.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (2-0, 2.84 ERA) has won each of his two starts this season. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer over six-plus innings pitched in each of his six career starts against New York at Fenway Park.