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Bench clearing brawl with Rays.


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ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (TICKER)—The bad blood between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays boiled over during Wednesday’s Grapefruit League contest.

 

Three players and two coaches were ejected in the first two innings of the game, which included a bench-clearing incident in the top of the second.

 

The trouble started in the top of the first when Yankees starter Health Phillips, replacing Andy Pettitte on the mound, was ejected for throwing a fastball high and inside to Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria.

 

In the top of the second, Yankees infielder Shelley Duncan reached on an infield single. Instead of stopping at first, Duncan headed to second and slid with spikes high into the chest of Tampa Bay second baseman Akinori Iwamaura.

 

Tampa Bay’s Jonny Gomes charged in from right field to tackle Duncan, prompting both benches to empty.

 

Duncan and Gomes also were ejected, along with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and third base coach Bobby Meacham.

 

The ill will between the teams started in Saturday’s game when Yankees’ catching Francisco Cervelli was bowled over at the plate by Tampa Bay infielder Elliott Johnson.

 

Cervelli fractured his right wrist and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Yankees manager Joe Girardi ripped Johnson, saying such a play was unnecessary in a spring training game. Girardi’s reaction, however, angered the Rays.

 

 

 

 

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Both benches cleared during the second inning of a spring training game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, leading to the ejections of two players and two coaches.

 

The teams, meeting four days after Yankees manager Joe Girardi complained about Tampa Bay’s aggressive play after a home-plate collision that injured catcher Francisco Cervellio, had been warned before the game that the umpires would have little tolerance for any further problems.

 

The benches cleared after New York’s Shelley Duncan slid into Rays second baseman Akinonori Iwamura with the spikes raised after singling off third baseman Evan Longoria’s glove and trying to stretch the hit into a double.

 

Duncan was immediately tossed. Tampa Bay’s Jonny Gomes was ejected, too, after racing in from right field and barreling into Duncan as other players poured onto the field. No punches appeared to have been thrown as order was restored.

 

Yankee third base coach Bobby Meacham and hitting coach Kevin Long also were ejected by the umpiring crew, which met with Girardi and Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon before the game.

 

New York left-hander Heath Phillips was ejected during the first inning after one of his pitches appeared to graze Longoria’s shirt. The Rays had already scored two runs and three hits in the inning.

 

Girardi protested Phillips’ ejection and both benches were warned.

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The benches cleared after New York’s Shelley Duncan slid into Rays second baseman Akinonori Iwamura with the spikes raised after singling off third baseman Evan Longoria’s glove and trying to stretch the hit into a double.

talk about a desperate housewife. :wacko:

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