The fallout from Wednesday night’s benches-clearing brawl between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees has begun, with Major League Baseball handing out two suspensions for the incident.
The league announced Thursday that Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly will be suspended six games while Yankees designated hitter Tyler Austin will get hit with a five-game ban. Both players also were fined, but both plan to appeal the suspension.
Tensions began to boil over during the third inning of New York’s 10-7 win at Fenway Park on Wednesday, when Austin slid into second base with his cleat up, catching Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt in the leg.
When Austin came to the plate in the seventh inning, Kelly hit him in the back with a fastball, an action the reliever said was not intentional. Austin slammed his bat to the ground and charged the mound, inciting a brawl that saw Kelly, Austin, Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle and third base coach Phil Nevin all ejected.
After the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone criticized the Sox for their handling of the situation, saying he didn’t believe it was right.
In addition to Austin and Kelly’s punishments, Nevin and Red Sox manager Alex Cora were fined, as were Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and Red Sox infielders Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and Marco Hernandez for entering the field while on the disabled list.
We’ll see if the bad blood continues in the rubber match of the three-game series Thursday at Fenway Park.