Tempers boiled over Sunday in Oakland as the Athletics and the Houston Astros engaged in the first real brawl of the 2020 MLB season.
The incident occurred in the bottom of the seventh inning when A's outfielder Ramon Laureano was drilled in the back by a pitch by the Astros' Humberto Castellanos, the second time in the game he was hit by a pitch. Standing on first base, Laureano began exchanging words with people in the Astros dugout, before charging forward. He was tackled by Astros catcher Dustin Garneau, while shoving ensued between both teams.
Laureano was ejected from the game, as was Oakland's Austin Allen.
Laureano wasn’t happy with the Astros after he got hit by a pitch pic.twitter.com/ysiXICstKb
Laureano charges the Astros dugout and the brawl breaks out pic.twitter.com/CQ2K8kFnlb
Suspensions, possibly big ones, are surely coming as a result of this kind of contact between teams.
Sunday marked the final game in the first series between the division rivals since the reveal of the Astros' 2017 cheating scandal.
The Houston Astros and Oakland A's push each other as benches cleared Sunday. (Photo: Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was suspended for one game by MLB after his team's benches-clearing incident against the Astros, though no contact was made between those teams.
“Baseball is under a microscope right now. But as coaches, myself included, I have to do a better job of guys staying on the bench," Roberts said after getting suspended.
"When tempers flared, I tried to get out there and keep it at bay, and minimize it, but I’ve got to make sure guys stay on the bench and follow protocols.’’
The microscope on baseball is even greater as squads like the Marlins and Cardinals have struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks. MLB issued even stronger protocols just last week for dealing with COVID-19; benches-clearing brawls clearly fly in the face of most of those efforts.
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