Rays, Orioles benches clear as MLB playoff race heats up

The dog days of summer may be behind us, but the MLB playoff races are heating up.

Emotions boiled over Saturday night during the Rays-Orioles game in St. Petersburg as both benches cleared in the eighth inning of Tampa Bay’s 8-2 win, which put the Rays (59-53) back in front of Baltimore (59-54) for the final AL wild-card spot by half a game.

Rays pitcher Pete Fairbanks yells toward Orioles catcher Robinson Chirinos in the eighth inning on Saturday.
Rays pitcher Pete Fairbanks yells toward Orioles catcher Robinson Chirinos in the eighth inning on Saturday.
AP

Rays pitcher Pete Fairbanks wasn’t pleased with a late timeout call with Robinson Chirinos at the plate as he was mid-pitch. Though it appeared home plate umpire Andy Fletcher was the one to call time, Fairbanks yelled at Chirinos after striking him out. Chirinos didn’t take kindly to it, and suddenly the benches cleared to engage in some shoving and jawing.

“There was a late time call, I took offense,” Fairbanks said after the game, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Apparently I misunderstood who had called time, where it came from. Apparently it was the umpire, not Chirinos. I, as you guys know, can be a little fiery. So I think that that might have caused some things (Saturday).”

Both benches cleared during the eighth inning of Saturday's Rays-Orioles game.
Both benches cleared during the eighth inning of Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game.
USA TODAY Sports
Orioles second baseman Rougned Odor (12) is restrained during the benches-clearing incident.
Orioles second baseman Rougned Odor (12) is restrained during the benches-clearing incident.
USA TODAY Sports

The two teams will play the rubber game of their three-game series Sunday afternoon, their final meeting of the season, before the Rays head to The Bronx for a three-game set against the Yankees.

The AL wild-card race could go down to the wire. The Twins entered Sunday a game behind the Rays, while the White Sox were two games back and the Red Sox 4.5 games back. The Blue Jays (61-51) and Mariners (62-53) currently have the top two wild-card spots.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*