Benches empty in bottom of eighth

August, 3, 2010
BOSTON -- The benches cleared and players milled around near home plate in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s Red Sox-Indians game after Cleveland reliever Jensen Lewis’ first pitch sailed behind Adrian Beltre.

Boston starter Josh Beckett seemed particularly angered, gesturing and trying to get at Indians outfielder Shelley Duncan. Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale held back Beckett, who after being pushed away from the pack picked up a batting helmet and slammed it to the ground.

After things had seemingly cooled off and players started to head to their respective benches and bullpens, another outburst erupted, this time with Red Sox manager Terry Francona having to be held back. The object of his ire was Cleveland third-base coach Steve Smith.

Lewis and Smith were ejected by plate umpire Tim Welke, as was Beckett.

The seeds of this animated and spirited gathering seemed to have been sown in the first inning when Beckett plunked Duncan on the leg. Maybe it was a coincidence, but Duncan had four hits in the Indians’ victory over the Sox on Monday night.

Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was drilled on his right knee by a Beckett fastball in the third. Otherwise, Beckett had impeccable control, walking none in his sparkling eight-inning performance. After being tended to at home plate, Choo got up off the dirt, took first base and promptly stole second base on Beckett’s next pitch.

In the seventh, Cleveland pitcher Justin Germano threw a pitch behind the knees of David Ortiz. The Sox designated hitter hesitated, apparently deciding not to go to the mound. In the eighth, though, when Lewis’ pitch sailed behind Beltre, the Red Sox third baseman had to be held off by Welke and Cleveland catcher Lou Marson, as the benches and bullpens emptied.



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