Benches clear twice during Yankees, Red Sox game.
The benches cleared twice last night at Fenway Park as the Yankees and Red Sox reignited their rivalry by way of a brawl that took place in the seventh inning, following a scuffle that took place earlier in the game.
It all started in the bottom of the third inning, when Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin was a runner on first base. Following a bunt by Tyler Wade, Austin raced to second and slid into Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt, who took exception to the slide. Both Austin and Holt got into a heated verbal exchange, prompting both benches, including the bullpens, to converge at second base.
"I don't think it was intentional. I think he was going in hard, and it was a bunt," Holt said, per ESPN. "I'm not going to turn a double play on that, especially with Wade running, so I think he was just going in hard, but he went in hard a little late with his spikes up."
"My slide into second base was a clean slide, and I play the game hard," Austin said, per ESPN. "I thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with that slide."
The situation was diffused without any ejections or punches thrown, but that didn't last long. Four innings after the incident at second base, Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly threw a 97-mph fastball into Austin's ribs which sparked a benches clearing brawl. Unlike Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo, Kelly was ready to fight when Austin charged the mound.
During the melee, Austin connected with a punch to the side of the head of Red Sox third-base coach Carlos Febles, while Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wrapped up Kelly in a headlock.
"I mean, I was ready to defend myself," Kelly said, according to ESPN. "If someone comes on my property in my backyard, I'm going to put up two dogs and get ready to defend myself."
"I saw Kelly going after Tyler after he tried to tackle him, so my job was to get Kelly up and get him off," Judge said. "I was just trying to get him up and pick him up."
"Yeah, I'm not trying to get involved with any of those guys," Holt said, speaking of the 6'7 Judge and 6'6 Giancarlo Stanton. "I mean, not just those two. They have a pretty big team over there."
The Yanks went on to win 10-7, setting up a rubber match in the series finale tonight at 7:10pm ET.