The Phillies and Giants had themselves a benches-clearing brawl

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Who needs the Red Sox and Yankees?

We just witnessed a benches-clearing brawl in the sixth inning of tonight’s game between the Phillies and Giants. Check out the video footage here.

It all started when Shane Victorino was hit in the back by a pitch from Giants right-hander Ramon Ramirez. Victorino began to gesture and walk toward the mound, but he was quickly intercepted by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski. By this time, both dugouts and bullpens had emptied and were running toward the field. However, the brawl didn’t really begin in earnest until Eli Whiteside attempted to tackle Placido Polanco, who came running in from first base.

There was all sorts of pushing and shoving and mini-wrestling matches going on, but just when it looked like things were about to calm down, Victorino escaped from Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross and tackled Giants hitting coach Hensley “Bam-Bam” Meulens. Huh? He had it coming, apparently.

Victorino, Ramirez and Whiteside were all given the boot and we’ll likely see numerous fines and suspensions once MLB reviews the footage of the incident.

All in all, I give this this skirmish an eight out of 10 for pure entertainment. Whiteside’s tackling skills? Maybe good enough to make the 49ers.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.