Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park between baseball giants New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox saw a dramatic turn of events during the seventh inning as Tyler Austin charged at Sox reliever Joe Kelly on the pitch.
The bustle occurred after Austin was hit by a pitch handed by Kelly. Austin reacted, slamming his bat on the plate and leaping towards the Boston Sox reliever, ending up in a pile up on the mound with other members of the teams. “Once I got hit, it was going to happen,” said Austin.
Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge pulled the two men apart, gripping Kelly in a headlock in an attempt to stop the fight.
ABC News reported that Kelly had “visible red marks on his neck after the game.”
“I was ready to defend myself,” said Kelly. “Someone comes on my property and in my back yard—I’ve got two dogs and if you come on my property and I feel like I was getting attacked then I’m going to have to defend myself.”
Pedro Martinez, former Red Sox pitcher, weighed in on the fight between the New York Yankees and Red Sox players with a tweet that read: “The only thing I would had done different than Joe Kelly tonight, is I would’ve hit Tyler Austin at his previous bat. Other than that, Kelly executed perfectly.”
The fight was not a first, however, with the two teams well known for their history of violent clashes and team rivalry. In 1973, Thurman Munson confronted catcher Carlton Fisk after major league baseball player Gene Michael missed a bunt attempt.
“It’s Yankees-Red Sox. That’s what everybody wants. That’s what they got,” said Boston starter David Price.
“Two competitive teams going at it and sometimes stuff happens,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “But sometimes stuff shouldn’t happen and there was no reason for fisticuffs to have to happen based on that slide at second base.”
The MLB official Twitter account tweeted, “Benches clear, punches thrown in Yankees-Red Sox after Tyler Austin is hit by a pitch from Joe Kelly.”
The New York Yankees ended Boston Red Sox’s nine-game winning streak, leaving the pitch with an exciting 10-7 victory.