The Los Angeles Angels’ 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday was overshadowed by a bench-clearing brawl during the second inning.
The Angels opted to use an opener in Andrew Wantz, and after both teams were given warnings in the first inning following a pitch in sider to Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, Wantz followed it up with a fastball to the back of Jesse Winker in the second.
The issues stem from Saturday’s contest when Mariners reliever Erik Swanson narrowly missed hitting Mike Trout in the head in the ninth inning. The Angels took exception to that after Trout’s recent success against Seattle, and tensions were high because of the dangerous nature of pitches thrown at the head.
However, umpires didn’t see any reason to raise a red flag following the pitch to Trout, but the immediate actions during Sunday’s game were enough to draw some attention, via Sarah Valenzuela of the L.A. Times:
“That was nothing for us to issue warnings today,” crew chief Adrian Johnson said after the Angels’ 2-1 Sunday. “What happened today was a guy got hit. We had warnings in. … All the other details will go in our incident report and you’ll get it from Major League Baseball.”
The Angels were just on a road trip in Seattle when Trout erupted for five home runs against the Mariners, and his hot hitting continued in this series, but that alone shouldn’t be enough to throw at someone’s head:
“Look, you play eight games in a matter of a week against the same team, things like this happen,” Nevin said. “I mean, the scheduling. Tensions just — that’s baseball sometimes.
“Unfortunately, there’s some ugly incidences once in a while and I think this is what happened today.”
Once Winker stepped toward the Angels dugout following the hit by pitch, both dugouts cleared. It wasn’t a usual pushing and shoving match like typical Major League Baseball bench-clearing incidents, this was one where punches were being thrown and grown men were getting knocked around:
“Protect my teammates. That’s the first thing I thought,” Marsh said. “I saw Tep was in there pretty deep and at the bottom of the pile, so I went and tried to try to rescue him as much as I could, but it was a lot to a little in that area.
“You don’t want to see people getting stepped on, cleated, hit, punched, I should say.”
A bevy of suspensions will be handed out by MLB and with a thorough review of the video from the fight will certainly result in more discipline for players who were not thrown out of the game on Sunday.
Trout’s recent success against Mariners
Although the Angels dropped their series opener to the Mariners, Trout continued his historic hitting against the division rivals.
Trout flew out in his first at-bat, and that was the only time the Mariners retired him in the game. In his next at-bat, which came in the fourth inning, Trout launched a solo home run to center field.
The homer was Trout’s 53rd career home run against the Mariners, which made him the all-time leader in career-long balls against Seattle, breaking Rafael Palmeiro’s previous record of 52.
Additionally, the homer was also Trout’s 99th career extra-base hit versus Seattle, which also breaks a tie with Rafael Palmeiro (98 XBH) for the most all-time against the Mariners.
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