New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) starts a scrum with Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly.

(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees, Red Sox Rivalry Reignited After Spikes-Up Slide, 98-MPH Bean Ball

The Yankees/Red Sox brawl was one of two big on-field fights last night.

April 11, 2018 - 5:36 pm
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DENVER/BOSTON (AP) — The fuse has officially been lit in the newest chapter of the ramped-up Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and another wild brawl was ignited with a pitch thrown behind the back of Colorado Rockies standout Nolan Arenado.

Zim vs. Pedro. A-Rod vs. Varitek. Munson vs. Fisk.

And now, Tyler Austin tangling with Joe Kelly.

A spikes-first slide by the Yankees first baseman,  into shortstop Brock Holt was avenged four innings later, when Kelly plunked Austin at the plate with a 98 MPH fastball. 

Here's the slide from Austin in the third inning: 

After being by the pitch, 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 got out of hand.

"It escalated," Holt said.

Kelly hit Austin a couple of times, and the Yankees designated hitter wound up with a swollen lip.

Trying to hit Kelly, Austin instead tagged Red Sox third base coach Carlos Febles.

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.

Kelly had visible red marks on his neck after the game.

"I was ready to defend myself," he said. "Someone comes on my property and in my backyard — I've got two dogs and if you come on my property and I feel like I was getting attacked then I'm going to have to defend myself."

Austin, Kelly, Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle and third base coach Phil Nevin were ejected.

Fight Night in Denver

Then in Colorado last night, Arenado charged the mound after a fastball from San Diego starter Luis Perdomo sailed behind him, setting off a wild brawl that resulted in five ejections Wednesday during a testy series at Coors Field.

Perdomo tossed his glove at a furious Arenado, and the big-hitting third baseman started throwing punches at the pitcher in the third inning. The benches cleared and relievers ran in from the bullpen. Arenado yelled at Padres catcher A.J. Ellis near the San Diego dugout and had to be held back, with Padres bench coach Mark McGwire helping keep them separated.

Just when the melee seemed to be winding down, Rockies starter German Marquez appeared to toss a towel toward the Padres, and Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra appeared to throw a punch . That briefly heated things back up.

The night before, Rockies reliever Scott Oberg hit San Diego center fielder Manuel Margot in the ribs. Margot was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Before the game, Rockies manager Bud Black said Oberg had reached out to Margot to explain his side.

The feud carried over to the series finale, when Rockies shortstop Trevor Story was hit in the first inning by Perdomo and Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe was plunked by Marquez in the second.

On the first pitch in the third, Arenado leaned out of the way to avoid the ball hitting him in the back and immediately took off for the mound. Perdomo tried to ward off Arenado by tossing his glove, but it sailed over the Gold Glove third baseman's head.

Once order was finally restored, the umpires met for several minutes before ejecting Perdomo, Ellis, Arenado, Marquez and Parra.

The fight seemed to fire up the Rockies, who scored five runs in the inning to take a 5-0 lead. The Rockies have been struggling on offense this season.