New York Yankees designated hitter Tyler Austin rushed the mound after being hit by a pitch from Boston Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly, and both players began punching away in a bench-clearing brawl Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
The bitter rivals tangled in the seventh inning, adding another chapter to a long history that has included some memorable brawls.
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, 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.