Benches empty in Indians-Yankees game after Teixeira HBP

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It never came to blows between the Red Sox and Yankees this week, but it almost did with the Tribe in town tonight.  After Fausto Carmona hit Mark Teixeira with a pitch in the second inning, the benches and the bullpens emptied, though no blows were exchanged.

The Indians were down 4-0 when a wild Carmona drilled Teixeira.  The previous batter, Curtis Granderson, had just homered.  There probably wasn’t a whole lot of intention on Carmona’s part. He struggled with his control right from the start tonight, walking three batters in the first inning.

But intentional or not, Teixeira did take offense.  He had just just gotten hit by the Red Sox on Tuesday, knocking him out of the game with a bruised knee.  Carmona’s plunking made it seven HBPs for him this season, and while Teixeira has always crowded the plate, that’s well ahead of his usual pace.  His career high for HBPs is 14, established in his rookie season in 2003.  He was hit 13 times last year.

Carmona and Teixeira jawed afterwards, and while it didn’t seem like anyone on either team wanted to throw a punch, managers Manny Acta and Joe Girardi got into a very heated discussion in the middle of the infield before things eventually calmed down.

This is just the opener of a four-game series, so there could be more to come.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.