The Associated PressBOSTON (AP) — The fuse has officially been lit in the newest chapter of the ramped-up Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
Zim vs Pedro. A-Rod vs Varitek. Munson vs Fisk.
And now, Tyler Austin tangling with Joe Kelly.
In a matchup between clubs that have long clashed, Austin rushed the mound after being hit by a pitch from the Red Sox reliever, triggering a bench-clearing brawl Wednesday night as New York ended Boston’s nine-game winning streak with a 10-7 victory.
“Red Sox-Yankees, man, that’s what everybody wants,” Boston starter David Price said. “And that’s what they got.”
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, and the punches flew.
“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 produced four ejections.
And no telling what might happen in the series finale Thursday night at Fenway Park.
“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.”Speech