Update: Red Sox, Yankees benches empty for a second time

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Update (10:05 PM ET): The benches emptied again in the top of the seventh as Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly hit Austin with a pitch. Austin slammed his bat, charged the mound, and a fracas ensued. Kelly certainly threw a few punches. Unlike the benches-clearing incident in the third inning, this one was heated and there will certainly be some suspensions and fines levied by Major League Baseball.

Kelly and Austin were both ejected, as was Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin.

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The benches and bullpens of the Red Sox and Yankees spilled onto the field in the top of the third inning of Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park. Shortstop Brock Holt wasn’t happy with the aggressive slide from Tyler Austin after Christian Vasquez whipped the ball to second base to get the force out on a bunt by Tyler Wade. Holt had a few words with Austin, who didn’t like those words, and then players from both teams ran towards the two players. It didn’t appear that any punches were thrown and there were no ejections.

The Yankees, leading 5-1 at the time of the incident, have since tacked on more runs and now lead 8-1 as of this writing. Gary Sanchez has hit two two-run home runs.

The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry didn’t need any juice, but we’ll see if Wednesday’s dispute creates any drama going forward.

The two clubs weren’t the only ones to have a benches-clearing incident on Wednesday. The Padres and Rockies had a tiff of their own in the afternoon.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.