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Yankees and Red Sox clear benches in brawl that renewed baseball's biggest rivalry

Just when we thought they were friends…

THE YANKEES AND Red Sox renewed their rivalry with a benches-clearing brawl during Wednesday night’s game at Fenway Park.

The drama began early in the game, with Yankees designated hitter Tyler Austin sliding into second base spikes up in the third inning, colliding with Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt.

The two got into a screaming match of sorts, prompting both benches to clear. However, the dispute was resolved before they threw punches.

That wouldn’t be the case four innings later.

With Austin at the plate, Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly hit him in the back with a 98 mph fastball. Austin slammed his bat down and charged the mound. Both teams came back out, and a brawl ensued.

Austin and Kelly grappled to the ground, with Austin landing one clean shot against his opponent. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton – neither of whom are known for their mean streaks – ended up at the center of the brawl for a period, with their size seemingly turning them into de facto enforcers in the melee. Judge ended up putting Kelly briefly in a headlock.

You can watch the scene play out below.

When the dust settled, Austin and Kelly were both ejected from the game, as were Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin and relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle. The Yankees would go on to win the game 10-7.

After the game, the teams were split on the initial cause of the brawl, with the Yankees dismissing Austin’s slide into third as a baseball play.’

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone – as seen on YES’s post-game coverage. “I don’t think [the Red Sox] should have, you know? I thought it was a hard slide into second, nothing remotely dirty about it, and so — to take matters into your own hands and go hit one of our guys, for that I thought was an overreaction. I didn’t think it was right.”

Boone also backed Austin’s decision to charge Kelly, adding: “Tyler Austin is playing the game the right way, clean, the right way, and some guy decides to fire one at you [at] 99 [mph], you never know how you react in that situation, so I had no issue with that.

“Because [Austin] came off the base, there could have been an issue from a replay standpoint based on the rules, but no, no,” Boone said when asked about Austin’s slide.

“You know sometimes in your slide it carries you, and I don’t know if there’s any carryover from all the [Manny] Machado stuff last year, and they’re going to handle things a certain way now. I mean that was pretty innocuous if you ask me.”

Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, meanwhile, signaled his approval of Kelly’s snipe.

While the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is never lacking, a brawl of this intensity heightens their remaining games as the season turns into summer.

There’s no doubt both teams will have this game at the top of their minds each time they meet the rest of the way, and with the Red Sox and Yankees both looking like contenders yet again, the baseball world is likely in for some more great matchups between the squads.

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Published with permission from:

Business Insider
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