BOSTON — The bad blood is back in baseball’s most intense rivalry.
During the second incident, there were punches and pushes.
It all began in the bottom of the third inning, when Austin was a runner on first base. As Yankees second baseman Tyler Wade laid down a bunt along the third-base line, Austin raced to second base where he slid into Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt.
Holt seemed to take exception to the somewhat late slide, and after the force out was recorded, he and Austin began yelling at each other. Players from both dugouts and bullpens raced out to second base, where the yelling intensified momentarily.
The teams ended up separating and game action resumed.
Four innings later, the sparks flew.
A 97.7-mph fastball from Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly hit Austin squarely in the back, one pitch after Austin had watched another fastball whiz closely by him well off the inside corner. When he was hit, Austin became instantly enraged, throwing his bat down and then his helmet before charging the mound.
As Austin jogged up to Kelly, the pitcher appeared to egg him on, motioning for him to step forward.
In the ensuing fracas, Kelly and Austin tussled briefly on the ground as Austin threw a punch that landed on the side of the head of Red Sox third base coach Carlos Febles. Not long after, Austin was pushed back by Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames, while Yankees sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge walked amid a pile of Red Sox players from the mound area to Boston’s dugout.
Once the tensions eased, Kelly and Austin were ejected, as well as Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin. Kelly was replaced by pitcher Brian Johnson, and Shane Robinson replaced Austin. Yankees quality control coach/infield instructor Carlos Mendoza came in for Nevin.
The ejections were the first for either team in 2018. Boston’s previous ejection came last September when Carl Willis was tossed from a game at Yankee Stadium. About two weeks before in a game at Detroit, Yankees Dellin Betances, Tommy Kahnle and Austin Romine were ejected after a brawl with the Tigers.