Mariners, Angels get in major brawl after inside pitches; 8 ejected
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels engaged in a lengthy full-team brawl in the second inning Sunday after tensions over two days of inside pitches boiled over.
Both managers and six players were ejected after the brouhaha, which stopped and started twice before Angels closer Raisel Iglesias came back out to the empty field to throw a tub of sunflower seeds and another bucket of gum onto the infield.
Three of the first four hitters in Seattle’s lineup were ejected, while three Angels pitchers were tossed in what was eventually a 2-1 Angels win.
Seattle’s Jesse Winker was hit by the first pitch of the second inning by Angels opener Andrew Wantz, who had also thrown a pitch behind the head of the Mariners’ No. 2 hitter, Julio Rodríguez, in the first inning.
The first pitch to Rodríguez certainly appeared to be a response to Erik Swanson’s 95 mph fastball near Mike Trout’s head in the ninth inning Saturday night, a throw that infuriated the three-time AL MVP. The umpires gathered together after the pitch, but only issued warnings to both dugouts.
Trout, who rarely shows frustration, was visibly upset after Saturday’s game. He took exception to a mound conference before the at-bat and that the first pitch was also inside, but not as wild as the next one.
“I get that you are trying to throw up and in, but not at the head,” Trout said. “If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside. If you’re gonna hit me, hit me in the ribs, don’t hit me in the head. I don’t know if that was the intent, but anything at the head, you don’t do that.”
Wantz was not originally scheduled to start Sunday. That was a late change Sunday morning by interim Angels manager Phil Nevin, coming after Trout’s comments. The move only pushed José Suarez, the original scheduled starter, back an inning before he took over on the mound for the ejected Wantz.
Winker reacted to getting hit by angrily yelling and gesturing at the Angels’ dugout, and the sides charged each other moments later, with both benches and bullpens emptying. The brawl lasted about four minutes, with people from both teams appearing to throw multiple punches.
When Winker finally left the field, he appeared to make an obscene gesture at the jeering Angels fans behind Seattle’s dugout.
After the teams returned to their dugouts, Iglesias returned a few moments later to throw the sunflower seeds and gum while furiously screaming at the umpires.
Nevin and Seattle manager Scott Servais were ejected. The Angels lost Wantz, Iglesias and reliever Ryan Tepera, while Winker, Rodríguez and J.P. Crawford were tossed for the Mariners.
The scoreless game was delayed about 18 minutes, and it resumed with pinch-runner Adam Frazier on first for Seattle and Jose Suarez on the mound for Los Angeles.
The AL West rivals were meeting for the eighth time in 11 days, with the Mariners going for a sweep in Anaheim after the Angels won four of five in Seattle last week. Justin Upton, a former Angels slugger who recently joined the Mariners, was hit in the head by an Angels fastball during the previous series in Seattle.
Suspensions are assuredly coming for both teams, which will come at a time when the Mariners can ill-afford them. Leading hitter Ty France just went on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a left elbow sprain, All-Star right fielder Mitch Haniger is not expected back from a high-ankle sprain until next month, and catcher Tom Murphy announced last week he would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.
SeattleSports.com editor Brent Stecker contributed to this post.