Benches clear in Red Sox-Rays game

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Benches cleared in the bottom of the sixth inning in tonight’s game between the Red Sox and Rays after John Lackey hit Matt Joyce in the back with a pitch.

Joyce, who homered off Lackey in the first inning, immediately suspected intent and began gesturing toward the mound. As Evan Drellich of MassLive.com notes, the errant pitch may not have been in retaliation to the home run, but instead to Joyce “styling” on a foul ball in the second inning. But that’s just speculation for now.

Joyce was restrained by catcher Jarrod Saltalmacchia as both benches emptied. No punches were thrown and order was quickly restored, but warnings were issued to both sides.

Lackey was pulled from the game after giving up a double to the next batter Ben Zobrist, but left-hander Craig Breslow was able to snuff out the rally. The Red Sox hold a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning.