Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Yankees fight to win over Red Sox

AP, BOSTON

The Boston Red Sox’s Mitch Moreland, right, tries to separate teammate Joe Kelly, left, and the New York Yankees’ Tyler Austin, center front, on Wednesday in the seventh inning of their match at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

Photo: AFP

The fuse has officially been lit in the newest chapter of the ramped-up New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry.

Don Zimmer versus Pedro Martinez. Alex Rodriguez versus Jason Varitek. Thurman Munson versus Carlton Fisk.

And now, Tyler Austin tangling with Joe Kelly.

In a matchup between clubs that have long clashed, Austin on Wednesday rushed the mound after being hit by a pitch from the Red Sox reliever, triggering a bench-clearing brawl as New York ended Boston’s nine-game winning streak with a 10-7 victory.

“It’s Yankees-Red Sox. That’s what everybody wants. That’s what they got,” Boston starter David Price said.

Austin slid spikes-first into shortstop Brock Holt at second base in the third inning. No surprise, the sides saw it differently.

Four innings later, the Red Sox retaliated.

“Two competitive teams going at it and stuff happens,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “But sometimes stuff shouldn’t happen and there was no reason for fisticuffs to have to happen based on that slide at second base.”

Gary Sanchez hit two home runs in a game that twice saw the benches empty and a fight that resulted in four ejections.

“I think it’s probably over with,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Hopefully put this to bed.”

A day after the Red Sox romped 14-1, the benches cleared briefly in the third after Austin’s spikes clipped Holt’s leg on a slide into second base.

Holt took issue with the contact and they exchanged words before being separated.

“I probably said something I shouldn’t have to start the whole thing, so I’m sorry for that,” Holt said. “But I just wanted him to know that it was a bad slide and I think everyone on the field knows that it was, and I think he knows that now, too.”

“I thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with that slide. I had no thought that they were going to throw at me,” Austin said.

With the Yankees leading 10-6 in the seventh, Kelly nearly hit Austin with an 0-1 pitch.

“I thought it was over after that,” Austin said.

Far from it.

Two pitches later, Kelly caught him on the side with a 158kph heater. Austin slammed his bat on the plate, threw it down and took four steps toward the mound while hollering.

Kelly waved 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.

It was the second bench-clearing brawl of the day in the majors.

Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado charged the mound after San Diego Padres’ Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind him.

“It made me wonder, too, if they were in their clubhouse watching the Padre-Rockie brawl and planted the seed for them and led them to think that that’s why they should do,” Cashman said.

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