‘Blame the umpires for all this!’ Baseball brawl between Brewers and Rays clears benches

A long look at a long ball set the spark for a benches-clearing brawl at American Family Field.

Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Rays were coming off a one-run shutout visiting victory against the Milwaukee Brewers as the second of a three-game set began. By the eighth inning, in what had ultimately become a blowout, smugness and stewing came to blows between a relief pitcher and a center fielder.

Three pitches into the top of the eighth, the Rays’ Jose Siri grounded up the first baseline for a quick 3-1 putout that left pitcher Abner Uribe face-to-face with the runner. An exchange of words as the Uribe completed the saw the umpire step in to hold back Siri to no avail as the pitcher swung over the top of the official setting the center fielder to do the same.

While Siri got his shots off, Brewers first baseman Rhys Hoskins could be seen stepping in to shove the opponent aside, crashing down to the ground in the process, as the benches cleared in support of their respective teammates.

The scuffle as the scoreboard read 8-2 in favor of Milwaukee had its start in the third inning when Siri’s first at-bat against starting pitcher Freddy Peralta saw him trying to start a comeback from a 3-0 deficit with a solo shot to the stands in left field.

The unmistakable sound of a home run saw the center fielder admiring his handiwork a little too long from the batter’s box before he took his 360-foot jog.

Image via YouTube

Three innings later, as Siri came back to bat against Peralta, a 3-0 count saw the batter take a 4-seam fastball high on the thigh that awarded him first base on the hit-by-pitch as both the pitcher and Brewers manager Pat Murphy found the umpires uninterested in issuing warnings as they skipped right to ejections for the seemingly intentional act.

After the the eighth-inning action, Siri and Uribe were the only ones to join Murphy and Peralta and the sidelines despite Hoskins getting held back as teammates dragged the sparring players apart.

Speaking from the locker room, Peralta denied that there was anything intentional about the misplaced heater in the sixth and told reporters, “I wasn’t trying to hit him, but the home plate umpire just came like, ‘Freddy, you out.'”

Explaining that he was mad, the pitcher added, “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to get everything worse. I was already out…There is no reason for me to hit him…my goal for tonight was going deep in the game…”

Crew chief Chris Guccione had told the media about the decision to eject Peralta that, “You put what happened previously in the game together, and we get together as a crew and we discuss all the events, and we determined as a crew that Peralta was intentionally throwing at Siri. And with that comes an ejection. That’s really the process.”

The decision from the umpires was seen on social media as the real catalyst for the eighth-inning action ahead of Wednesday’s rubber match.

Kevin Haggerty

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