Benches clear as the Rays sweep the Red Sox

Brian Blanco

Yunel Escobar, Sean Rodriguez, and Jonny Gomes were ejected for their part in the scrum.

Three players -- Yunel Escobar, Sean Rodriguez, and Jonny Gomes -- were ejected after a benches clearing "brawl" with the Red Sox. With two outs in the seventh inning, Escobar doubled to give the Rays an 8-3 lead. Escobar then took third base on defensive indifference (catcher AJ Pierzynski came up ready to throw but no one was covering third).

This clearly pissed off Boston backup catcher David Ross, who started barking at Escobar from the dugout. Escobar returned Ross's words and gestured at the visitors' dugout, and was restrained by third base coach Tom Foley (wearing a Don Zimmer jersey -- no, it's not Zim in the middle of the scrum).

Foley and the umpires might have gotten things under control at this point, if not for former Ray Jonny Gomes, who came streaking in from his position in left field to shove Escobar. That's when the benches cleared.

There are a few points to be made here. First off, the idea that a team should stop trying to score because they've taken a five-run lead is ludicrous. If you don't want Escobar to steal third, defend the stolen base. If you don't mind him doing so, then let him, and there's nothing to be said after he does.

Maddon agrees:

Joe Maddon is referring to this game, in which Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base (and later scored on a single) in the eighth inning with the Red Sox up 8-2. To be clear, Joe doesn't have a problem with Ellsbury stealing second in that game. He just thinks the Red Sox are hypocrites.

There was a good shot of the action by Dirk Shadd of the Tampa Bay Times.

That was as juicy as it got. On the whole, it was exactly as tame (perhaps tamer than most) as most baseball "brawls." Brett will be making fun of everyone who needs to be made fun of later today.

Steve Kinsella of SportsTalkFlorida.com was standing by for interviews with Maddon  and Rodriguez after the game. Here is the video, from the SportsTalkFlorida YouTube channel.

S-Rod references Game 162 to make the point that the Rays don't take five runs for granted.

Really though, there's only one thing that needs to be said about this altercation. Scoreboard.

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