As is often the case between the Red Sox and Rays, there was some controversy and hard feelings. It happened in the first inning Friday night at Fenway Park.
With a runner on first base and two outs, Rays starter David Price planted a 94 mile-per-hour fastball in David Ortiz’s back. Home plate umpire Dan Bellino immediately warned both benches against further retaliation.
Sox manager John Farrell calmly walked out of the dugout, then was ejected after a few seconds and a few curses.
As Farrell and Bellino dickered, Jonny Gomes was at the plate in what appeared to be a heated discussion with Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria.
In the fourth inning, Price hit Mike Carp with a pitch, and when the umpires didn’t take any action, the benches cleared, and designated Sox manager Torey Lovullo rushed out to argue vehemently. No punches were thrown, and soon Lovullo, too, was ejected.
Then in the top of the sixth, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman threw behind the Rays’ Evan Longoria and was ejected, followed by third base coach Brian Butterfield, who became the acting manager when Lovullo was tossed.
The teams cleared their benches last Sunday at Tropicana Field after Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar exchanged words with the Red Sox bench. But Price’s enmity may have gone back to Game 2 of the American League Division Series last October.
Ortiz hit two home runs off Price in that game and admired the second one at the plate for a few seconds before jogging around the bases. Friday marked the first time Price had faced Ortiz since that game.