The New York Yankees were able to close the door on the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night finishing a 5-3 victory with Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning.
Chapman’s appearance in the final frame, however, came with some fireworks.
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The flamethrower threw a 99 mph fireball toward the head of Rays batter Michael Brosseau during their matchup. After Brosseau struck out, he walked back to the dugout and had some choice words for the Yankees players. He prompted both benches to be cleared, though no fight broke out.
Rays manager Kevin Cash issued an apparent threat to the Yankees after the game.
“Somebody’s got to be accountable,” Cash said. “And the last thing I’ll say on this is I got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph. Period.”
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The heat was turned up between the American League East rivals. Masahiro Tanaka hit Joey Wendle with a fastball in the first inning. Both Cash and Wendle believed it was intentional.
“As far as if there was actual intent behind Chapman’s delivery, I’m not really sure, but pretty frustrating honestly,” Brosseau said. “It’s not what you want to see coming in off the bench, especially when we pretty much let everything go after Joey took the message for us and did it like a man, kind of just took it and carried on with the day. But if there was any intent behind it and they want to send another message, I guess they made their point.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone and infielder D.J. LeMahieu both were taken aback by Cash’s remarks.
“That’s a pretty scary comment,” Boone said. “I don’t think that’s right at all. But I’m not going to get into it right now.”
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LeMahieu added: “The comments from their manager, those made the rounds pretty quickly in our clubhouse. Obviously that’s a pretty serious threat. It sounds like they’re going to try and throw at us tomorrow. We’ll be ready.”
The Yankees are 2-7 against the Rays this year and trail in the AL East by 3.5 games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.