It’s no secret that the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers harbor less than friendly feelings toward each other. On Sunday, the Rangers and Jays met for the final game of their series against each other in Arlington, a game that Texas would eventually win 7-6. However, tensions boiled over late in the game to add yet another chapter to the history between these two teams.
In the top of the eighth inning, Rangers reliever Matt Bush, recently called up from the minors, plunked Bautista in the ribs with a fastball. It looked very much like retaliation for Bautista’s infamous bat flip after his game-winning home run against the Rangers in the seventh inning of Game Five of the 2015 ALDS. Of course, the pitch could also simply have just gotten away from Bush.
Later in the inning, Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak hit a ground ball to third base. In an effort to break up the double play, Bautista slid hard into second base, and almost took out Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor in the process. Following the slide, Bautista and Odor got in each other’s faces, and the shoving commenced until Odor caught Bautista on the chin with a right fist. The benches cleared, and a full-on brawl broke out.
— LastWordOnSports Inc (@lastwordonsport) May 15, 2016
The umpires were eventually able to restore order and the top of the inning came to a close, but that was far from the end of it. In the bottom of the inning, Blue Jays reliever Jesse Chavez hit Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, and the benches cleared for a second time. No punches were landed this time, and the Rangers were able to close out the series with a win.
Several players and coaches were ejected following the first fight, and suspensions are sure to be handed down in short order. Stay tuned.
Ejections from Jays-Rangers incident: Rougned Odor, Steve Buechele, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, DeMarlo Hale, Jesse Chavez.
— MLB (@MLB) May 15, 2016