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.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.
The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.
Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.
Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.