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Chris Sale thought Victor Martinez, Tigers were stealing signs — benches clear

Chris-Sale-sign-stealingBenches cleared during Wednesday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers after Chris Sale hit Victor Martinez with a pitch in the sixth inning. The plunking came after Sale appeared to accuse Martinez and the Tigers of stealing signs.

As you can see from the video above, Sale sarcastically tipped his cap toward center field in the third after he struck Martinez out to end the inning. It became obvious that Sale thought someone — possibly from the Tigers bullpen — was tipping pitches to Detroit’s hitters. Sale hit Martinez the next time he faced him and the dugouts emptied.

No punches were thrown, and the Tigers got the last laugh. Sale had dominated Detroit to that point, but Martinez ended up scoring the tying run on a sacrifice fly after Sale plunked him. The lefthander’s day was done after the sixth and the Tigers went on to score five more runs and come away with a 6-1 victory.

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Reno Aces and Albuquerque Isotopes in major brawl (Video)

10 players were ejected from Saturday night’s Triple-A baseball game between the Reno Aces and Albuquerque Isotopes after the teams got in a brawl that took place right in front of onlookers behind home plate.

The fight occurred during the top of the second inning of the game. One of the people ejected was Reno manager Phil Nevin.

KOLO-TV reporter Ben Ross in Reno explains what led up to the fight:

Look at this camera view of the fight. It’s rare you get one this close:

Albuquerque Isotopes Reno Aces

Reds, Cubs clear benches after Aroldis Chapman fastballs over the head (Video)

Cubs Reds fightBenches cleared after Aroldis Chapman retired the side in the top of the 9th of Thursday’s Reds-Cubs game following some tension between the clubs.

Chapman struck out Justin Ruggiano to start the inning. Then he sailed a 101-mph fastball over the head of Nate Schierholtz on the first pitch of his at-bat. The second pitch was 100 mph and similarly buzzed the tower, causing several Cubs players to grow upset.

Chapman eventually struck out Schierholtz, walked John Baker, and got a groundout to end the inning. The benches cleared after the third out because the Cubs seemingly took offense to Chapman waving his glove at their dugout in a dismissive motion after the out:

Aroldis Chapman glove

Anthony Rizzo also said something to the Reds as he took the field for the bottom of the inning, sparking the benches to clear.

Warnings were issued, but nobody was thrown out of the game.

Red Sox, Rays in bench-clearing fight over Yunel Escobar stolen base (Video)

Three players were ejected from Sunday’s Boston Red Sox-Tampa Bay Rays game after a fight broke out when the Red Sox took exception to Yunel Escobar stealing a base with a 5-run lead late in the game.

The Rays were up 8-3 in the bottom of the seventh with Escobar at second and two outs. Escobar stole third on what was ruled defensive indifference. The Red Sox objected to that and began making some noise. Escobar barked right back at them, and things escalated when Jonny Gomez ran in from left field to handle the situation.

Gomes, Escobar and Sean Rodriguez were all ejected. And you think Escobar took matters lightly? Look at his reaction:

Yunel Escobar fight

This was so typical of baseball and the stupid unwritten rules. As long as the Red Sox are still trying to win the game and haven’t forfeited, why should they get all upset over Escobar stealing a base? Are you really telling me a 5-run lead is too much for them to overcome? Give me a break.

Umpire Paul Nauert taps Torii Hunter’s face after benches clear (GIF)

Torii-Hunter-tapped-in-face-umpireBenches cleared in Monday night’s game between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles after Torii Hunter took exception to being hit by a pitch from Bud Norris. Hunter was plunked immediately after Ian Kinsler hit a two-run home run off of Norris, and the 38-year-old veteran did not think it was a coincidence.

Norris was ejected, and Hunter began shouting at him as he headed down the first base line. That eventually led to both teams pouring onto the field, and umpires and coaches did a decent job of stepping in before things got out of hand. However, third base umpire Paul Nauert may have crossed the line when he tapped Hunter in the face to get his attention.

At first, Hunter was too busy telling Norris he’s going to whoop his ass to notice.

You can see a video of the entire incident here. By baseball brawl standards, it was pretty mild. That said, players are automatically suspended if they make any type of contact whatsoever with an umpire. It didn’t look like Nauert meant anything by the gentle tap, but it was unprofessional at the very least.

GIFS via Deadspin and The Score

Carlos Gomez and Gerrit Cole exchange words leading to bench-clearing fight (Video)

During Sunday’s game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates, the scene turned ugly in the top of the third inning.

pirates-brewers-brawlBrewers center fielder Carlos Gomez hit what he apparently thought would be a solo home run. That ended up not being the case as the ball stayed in the field of play, hitting off the wall just out of the reach of Andrew McCutchen. Gomez wound up on third base with a triple.

That’s when Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole had a few words with Gomez and the situation escalated.

Punches were thrown and both Gomez and Travis Snider of the Pirates were ejected for their roles in the brawl.

Carlos Gomez has been known to admire his home runs in the past and on one occasion it led to a confrontation with Brian McCann. This time around, Gomez ended up on the ground thanks to Travis Snider.

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Player swings bat at opponent’s head during Cuban baseball brawl (Video)

A game in Cuba between Villa Clara and Matanzas on Monday night featured a terrifying brawl that could have ended horribly. According to Baseball America, a Matanzas player led off the seventh inning with a home run to give his team a 3-0 lead. Villa Clara pitcher Freddy Alvarez hit the next batter in the head with a fastball and hit another player two batters later.

At that point, the benches cleared. Demis Valdes of Matanzas, who wasn’t even in the game at the time, came charging out of the dugout with a bat in his hands. When Alvarez went after Valdes and threw his glove toward him, Valdes took a full swing at Alvarez’s head with the bat. Fortunately, he did not connect.

Cuban-baseball-brawl

The umpires eventually got all of the players off the field and the game was delayed for more than 15 minutes. Valdes could have literally killed Alvarez. Brawls add excitement to the game and most of us enjoy them, but that bordered on attempted murder.

H/T Eye on Baseball