TORONTO – Benches and bullpens emptied in the third inning of the contest between the Red Sox and Blue Jays, though no punches were thrown and no players were ejected.
With the game tied, 1-1, a Blue Jays runner on second, and two outs, Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta’s fastball smacked the elbow of Toronto cleanup hitter Alejandro Kirk. Kirk – whom Sox manager Alex Cora described before the game as the hottest hitter in baseball – looked annoyed.
His teammate, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., popped out of the dugout and chirped at Pivetta. Pivetta did not take kindly to Guerrero’s statements, a fact he made clear in profane terms. The duo took steps towards each other as players from both teams’ benches and bullpens streamed onto the field at Rogers Centre.
When order was restored, Pivetta issued a walk to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to load the bases, but gathered himself to strike out Raimel Tapia on a 96 mile-per-hour fastball to end the inning and strand three Blue Jays runners.