06/26 18:31 CDT Melee mayhem: Big brawl, 8 ejected, Angels top Mariners 2-1
Melee mayhem: Big brawl, 8 ejected, Angels top Mariners 2-1
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) --- A lengthy bench-clearing brawl resulted in the
ejections of six players and both managers in the second inning of the Los
Angeles Angels' 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Three of the first four hitters in the Mariners' lineup were ejected, while
three Angels pitchers were tossed after two days of tension over inside pitches
boiled over with punches thrown by people from both teams. The melee began when
Seattle's Jesse Winker charged the Angels' emptying dugout after Winker was hit
by the first pitch of the inning from Angels opener Andrew Wantz.
After the field cleared, Angels closer Raisel Iglesias returned a few moments
later to throw large containers of sunflower seeds and gum onto the infield
while screaming at the umpires.
The game was delayed about 18 minutes by the mayhem.
Luis Rengifo homered and David MacKinnon drove in the tiebreaking run with a
single in the seventh for the Angels, who avoided a series sweep with just
their fourth win in their last 18 home games.
Marco Gonzales (4-8) pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning of a
hard-luck loss for the left-hander and the Mariners, who finished 5-1 on an
impressive road trip --- although the finale was overshadowed by a major brawl.
Wantz had also thrown a pitch behind the head of the Mariners' No. 2 hitter,
Julio Rodriguez, in the first inning. That pitch 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 issued warnings to both dugouts after Wantz's pitch to Rodriguez,
but Winker and the Angels set it off an inning later, with both benches and
bullpens emptying. The brawl lasted about four minutes, with people from both
teams appearing to throw multiple punches.
Injured Angels star Anthony Rendon threw an open left hand to Winker's face
during the scuffle, which is notable because his right hand is in a cast. The
Halos' $245 million third baseman is already out for the year for the second
When Winker finally left the field, he made obscene gestures with both hands at
the jeering Angels fans behind Seattle's dugout.
Los Angeles interim manager Phil Nevin and Seattle's Scott Servais were
ejected. The Angels lost Wantz, Iglesias and reliever Ryan Tepera, while
Winker, Rodriguez and J.P. Crawford were tossed for the Mariners.
The rest of the day went off without incident, and Seattle scored the game's
first run in the sixth on a homer by Abraham Toro, who replaced Crawford atop
the Mariners' lineup. Toro's solo drive was his first homer in 22 games since
Rengifo tied it in the seventh with a solo homer off Gonzales, somehow golfing
a changeup well below the strike zone all the way over the fence in left-center
for his third homer of the season.
Monte Harrison then drew a walk and scored on a two-out single off Andrs Muoz
by MacKinnon, who has driven in a run with each of his three career hits since
reaching the majors last week. Harrison alertly made sure the run counted by
diving headfirst into home right before the Mariners threw out Trout at third.
Jos Suarez (1-2) greatly helped the Angels' depleted bullpen when he relieved
Wantz and struck out eight over six innings of five-hit ball.
Oliver Ortega then got six outs for his first career save, helped greatly when
Max Stassi threw out Adam Frazier trying to steal second for the second out of
Los Angeles hadn't used an opener since May 10, 2021, but Nevin appeared to be
getting creative after the demotion of up-and-down rookie Reid Detmers to the
minors last week, just six starts after he threw a no-hitter.
Suarez also was demoted earlier this year after his own struggles in the
Angels' rotation to start the season, but he has been back and forth for five
stints in the majors while the perpetually pitching-poor Halos struggle for
effective mound help.
Angels: 2B Matt Duffy left with lower back tightness in the fourth inning.
Mariners: George Kirby (2-2, 3.12 ERA) takes the mound in Seattle on Monday to
open a series against Tyler Wells (5-4, 3.34) and the Baltimore Orioles.
Angels: Noah Syndergaard (4-6, 3.86 ERA) makes his 12th start of the season in
a home series opener against Lucas Giolito (4-4, 5.40 ERA) and the Chicago
White Sox. Thor has pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings in his two career starts
against the Sox.
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