Taking the rivalry a bit too seriously perhaps, the low Single-A Greenville Drive and Charleston River Dogs had it out Friday night, brawling after the second pitch of the game.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler said there was some lingering bad blood from a series between the teams three weeks ago, so when Red Sox prospect Miguel Celestino hit former Yankees first-round pick Slade Heathcott in the top of the first, mayhem ensued.
Rather than go after Celestino, Heathcott turned and shoved catcher Christian Vazquez instead.
Youtube user rdogsfan11 caught the brawl on the video:
Ejections were handed to Heathcott and Vazquez, as well as one reliever for each team: Garett Rau for the Drive and Kelvin Perez for the River Dogs.
Heathcott, one of the Yankees’ top prospects, seems certain to be suspended. The 20-year-old, who was taken 29th overall in the 2009 draft, is hitting .312/.396/.504 with three homers in 125 at-bats this season.
Charleson ended up winning the contest 6-2. It was the first game in a four-game series, so perhaps more fireworks are in store.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.