BOSTON — The hostility that was building between the Red Sox and Yankees through Wednesday night’s 10-7 New York triumph erupted at the very top of the seventh when the teams needed a bench-clearing fracas following Boston reliever Joe Kelly struck Tyler Austin in the rear using a 97.7-mph fastball.
Kelly also threw a top and inside toss to Austin before from the at-bat, but overlooked.
The two players were ejected together with Yankees third-base trainer Phil Nevin.
It was evident where the tension came from.
The benches and bullpens had emptied at the very top of the next inning when Boston shortstop Brock Holttook exception to Austin producing a competitive slide to him on a forceout at second base.
Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers was fast at fielding the bunt and fired to Holt in the time to find the out.
The initial situation was diffused fast, without a altercation ensued if the seats emptied.
But things got a lot more heated afterwards.
The Yankees needed a 10-6 lead in the time of this Kelly-Austin event.