Brawl Erupts After Jose Bautista Downed By Rougned Odor Punch
A brawl started after Toronto’s Jose Bautista was punched by Texas’ Rougned Odor in the eighth inning of the game between the two teams. Odor appeared to dislike what he believed was a late slide by Bautista at the second base.
Words were exchanged between the two players and Odor shoved Bautista, who started to move toward Odor. The infielder of the Rangers then punched Bautista in the face, which staggered the Toronto star. Bautista said he was surprised, which was the only reason Odor got him. He added that it takes someone bigger than him to knock him down.
The two players were ejected together with Josh Donaldson of Toronto and the bench coach of the Rangers, Steve Buechele. After the scuffle, Prince Fielder was hit by Jesse Chavez of the Blue Jays with the next pitch. Officials ejected Chavez after a warning was issued to both teams in the eighth inning after Matt Bush hit Bautista with a pitch.
Toronto manager John Gibbons said the incident was “ugly and unfortunate” adding that it was gutless. He said the other teams would come at them immediate but waiting for the end was something he did not like. Jose Bautista was hit in the ribs by the first pitch of Bush. After Justin Smoak hit a ground ball in the next play towards Adrian Beltre, Beltre threw it to Odor to start a double play. Umpires ruled the hard slide of Bautista an automatic double play, which ended the inning.
Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said it was just two tough teams playing the game hard. He had an exchange of words with Gibbons as the field was being cleared. He added that the players like their respective clubs and he does not like it when people think the game should not be played hard with intensity and emotion.
The two teams tangled with each other in the past starting with the famous bat flip of Bautista in the AL division series last year. Bautista flipped the bat into the air after hitting a three-run homer in the seventh inning of Game 5. The moment was considered disrespectful by traditionalists while new-school advocates loved the individuality of the action of Jose Bautista.