A long-simmering feud between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers boiled to the surface on Sunday as benches emptied twice and players fought on the field at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The fireworks started when Texas pitcher Matt Bush plunked Toronto slugger Jose Bautista. Later that inning, trying to break up a double play, Bautista slid hard into Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor.
Video from the game shows the two promptly getting into a fight, with Odor punching Bautista right in the face -- knocking off the Blue Jays All-Star's sunglasses and batting helmet:
Bautista admitted later he was trying to send a message with his slide.
"I had a hard slide at second base. I could have injured [Odor, but] I chose not to," Bautista said, after the game, according to ESPN. "I tried to send a message that I didn't appreciate getting hit."
The Texas crowd chanted "USA! USA!" as the Venezuelan Odor fought with the Dominican Bautista and players from both teams rushed onto the field and into the fray.
Benches emptied again later in the game when Texas slugger Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch from Jesse Chavez.
Odor and Bautista were both ejected, along with several other plays and coaches. No doubt all of them will be hearing from the commissioner's office regarding possible fines and suspensions.
The Rangers won, 7-6.
There has been bad blood between the two teams since last year, when Bautista flipped his bat after homering to help the Jays beat the Rangers in the American League Division Series.
However, Rangers manager Jeff Banister defended pitcher Matt Bush on Sunday, saying the growing rivalry between the two teams had nothing to do with him hitting Bautista with a pitch.
"To me, this is a young man in his second appearance in the big leagues, I'm sure there was adrenaline flowing and he's seen the intensity level. He's nowhere near perfect," he told the Dallas News."I'm not going to entertain talk that it was anything else than us trying to get outs. To think we're going to put the tying run on purpose, I'm sorry."
The Blue Jays weren't buying it.
"It was ugly and unfortunate," Blue Jays manager Gibbons said, according to ESPN. "To me, it was gutless. The other 29 teams, they come at you right away, but to wait until the end, it just sort of tells you something. Everybody is going to say, 'Oh, it was a one-run game. The ball got away.' That ain't going to fly."
The two teams faced each other seven times this month, but won't play each other again this year -- unless it's a rematch in the playoffs.