Five players and three coaches were ejected from Thursday night’s baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees when a brawl at home plate cleared both benches and sparked continued tension throughout the final three innings.
The clash began in the fifth inning when Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer hit Yankees star Gary Sanchez. In the sixth, Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle threw a pitch behind Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, which prompted the ejection of Kahnle and Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who argued the umpire’s decision to eject his pitcher.
Just as the game was about to resume, Cabrera began exchanging words with Yankees catcher Austin Romine. The conversation quickly escalated as Romine removed his mask and Cabrera got in a shove. The two started rolling around on the ground as they punched each other. Soon both benches cleared as players joined the fray.
Yankees players were also shown running in from the bullpen.
Video from the brawl showed Sanchez punching Cabrera, a move that could get him suspended from future play even though he was not one of the five players ejected Thursday.
“I was in the dugout; I looked up, and I saw Romine rolling on the ground with the other guys,” Sanchez told The New York Times through an interpreter. “In that moment, instinct takes over because you want to protect your teammate. That’s your family out there.”
The bad blood continued. Two more players would get hit at bat, and the benches would clear two more times before the final out of the game. The Yankees lost, 10-6.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the Detroit baseball team as the Lions on one reference.