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Amir Garrett rushes Pirates’ dugout as benches-clearing brawl ensues

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Yasiel Puig‘s last act as a Red will be his involvement in a benches-clearing brawl at Great American Ball Park during Tuesday night’s game against the Pirates. The two sides already have a history of bad blood, as their benches emptied back in April. (Amusingly, this would not be the only benches-clearing incident the Pirates would be involved in.) What happened on Tuesday night was on a whole ‘nother level.

Tension began in the bottom of the seventh with two outs when Pirates reliever Keone Kela threw a first-pitch 97 MPH fastball up and in to Derek Dietrich. Joey Votto wasn’t happy about that, exchanging words with Kela between innings. Home plate umpire Larry Vanover issued warnings to both benches during the break, to which Reds manager David Bell and his team took exception. Order was restored temporarily.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bell was ejected for arguing over a controversial strike call made by Vanover.

The Puig trade was announced on TV just as the top of the ninth inning began. Puig remained on the field while Jared Hughes took over on the mound. His first pitch to Starling Marte hit him on the hip. Hughes was immediately ejected. Amir Garrett entered the game in relief.

Garrett’s relief stint was subpar for himself and for the Reds, as he allowed a three-run home run to José Osuna, extending the Pirates’ lead to 11-3. After Kevin Newman grounded out, coach Jeff Pickler came out to the mound to speak to Garrett. Garrett and the Pirates’ dugout were barking at each other. Garrett threw his glove to the ground and charged the Pirates’ dugout by himself. He threw a bunch before he was swarmed by members of the Pirates as both teams’ benches and bullpens spilled onto the field. Along with pushing and shoving, more punches were thrown. Ultimately, Garrett, Puig, Chris Archer, Kyle Crick, and Francisco Cervelli were ejected from the game, as was acting manager Freddie Benavides.

The game ended without further incident 11-4 in the Pirates’ favor.

Expect many fines and suspensions as a result of this fracas, particularly for Kela, Hughes, Garrett, and Puig. The Indians have to be thrilled about their newest acquisition potentially being suspended for a week or longer.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.