Nearly two weeks after beginning with an incident at second base, the bad blood between the Red Sox and Orioles still hasn’t stopped. How did a questionable slide in Baltimore carry over into a war of brushback pitches and words in Boston?
April 21 — The slide
In the eighth inning of a 2-0 Orioles win, Manny Machado slid spikes-up into Dustin Pedroia at second while trying to break up a double play. Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game that the slide was “extremely late.” Pedroia, meanwhile, downplayed the incident.
“I’ve turned double plays in the big leagues for 11 years,” Pedroia told ESPN. “That’s my job. That’s not the first time I’ve been hit. It won’t be the last.”
Machado said after the game that the incident was unintentional, and he texted Pedroia to apologize after the game.
April 22 — Pedroia misses time
With Pedroia scratched from the Boston lineup, a close game kept things clean between both teams.
April 23 – Boston’s retaliation
Boston announced Pedroia would undergo an MRI the next day. That night, with a comfortable six-run lead, the Red Sox got their chance to send Machado a message.
In the eighth inning, reliever Matt Barnes threw a pitch behind Machado’s head. The ball hit Machado’s bat, and Barnes was immediately tossed from the game. As reliever Joe Kelly warmed up, Pedroia called over to Machado and apologized for the incident.
After the game, Pedroia told reporters “there was zero intention of him trying to hit me” and that this was “definitely a mishandled situation.” The attempted peacekeeping wound up meaning little.
May 1 — Round 2 begins
The buildup to a rematch at Fenway Park featured Pedro Martinez saying he would have beaned Machado if he was on the mound (and noting he didn’t think the slide was intentional) as well as more attempts by Pedroia to defuse any conflict. This time, it looked like Baltimore’s turn to retaliate at Fenway.
Machado had a home run and a standout game defensively, but that performance was overshadowed. In the bottom of the sixth with his team up 2-0, starter Dylan Bundy hit Boston’s Mookie Betts with a fastball to the hip, and the boos rained down.
May 2 — Sale makes his pitch
“It’s been over,” Machado said of the tension after his big game Monday. Chris Sale begged to differ.
The good? A standing ovation for Jones in his first at-bat of the game that the outfielder said surprised him and made for a sound reconciliation from Red Sox fans.
The rest? In the first inning of Tuesday’s game, Boston’s ace sailed a knee-high fastball behind Machado, and plate umpire D.J. Reyburn warned both benches. Machado got a bit of revenge with a home run later in the Orioles’ 5-2 loss, but he was less than pleased with Sale — or the rest of the Red Sox, for that matter — after the game.
May 3 — The Ejections
Before the game, commissioner Rob Manfred had a call with managers and top executives from both teams to deliver a stern message: Enough is enough.
But that may have sparked more chaos.
The 77 mph curveball hit Bogaerts in the hip, prompting plate umpire Sam Holbrook to toss the pitcher immediately. As soon as Holbrook’s arm went into the air, Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph jumped out of his crouch and got in Holbrook’s face, vociferously arguing with the umpire about the quick-triggered ejection. Machado was also among those yelling in Holbrook’s direction as manager Buck Showalter jogged out to confront the umpire.
Jones was later tossed, too, soon after being upset by a called strike.
Holbrook defended his decisions after the game, saying “we’re all on high alert with anything,” given the tension between the two teams.
But many felt the ejections were unnecessary.
The Orioles now have to adjust their rotation as they went to Ubaldo Jimenez, who was slated to start on Thursday, for three innings after Gausman was ejected.
Where will the heated rivalry go from here? The series closes out in Boston on Thursday night.