ARLINGTON, Texas — A feud simmering since Jose Bautista’s bat flip in last year’s AL division series boiled over into a wild brawl in the final game of the series between Toronto and Texas on Sunday.
Bautista and Texas second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fistfight behind the bag after a hard slide by the Toronto slugger in the eighth inning. Players from both teams rushed the field as Odor landed a solid punch to Bautista’s face, that sent him stumbling backward.
“There’s some pent up emotion going on at Globe Life Park,” one announcer said as the rest of the teams rushed the field.
“Bautista got the worst of that exchange,” another announcer added.
Umpires needed about 10 minutes to restore order, and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder with the next pitch when the game resumed. He was ejected after an earlier warning for both teams when Bautista was hit by a pitch from Matt Bush.
Bautista and Odor were ejected Sunday along with Toronto’s Josh Donaldson and Texas bench coach Steve Buechele.
The conflicts seemed to overshadow the final outcome, a 7-6 Texas victory.