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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.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.