What’s that about an apple and a tree?
On the night before Father’s Day, the Albuquerque Isotopes took a page from their parent club with a bench-clearing brawl against Memphis.
The parent LA Dodgers had an ugly beanball-filled, fight-filled affair with Arizona on Tuesday that resulted in eight players being suspended and 12 fined. On Saturday, the ‘Topes had a slugfest – in more ways than one – during their 13-10 victory over Memphis at Isotopes Park.
The game lasted more than four hours and was delayed 25 minutes in the bottom of the fourth inning by a brawl that resulted in the ejection of at least eight players and both managers. Isotopes officials were still trying to sort out the mess after the game to determine if any other ejections were made. There was no immediate word from the Pacific Coast League about probable fines and suspensions. The league will review video tapes of the incident and likely level punishments this week.
The problems started when Memphis starting pitcher Maikel Cleto hit Albuquerque’s Jeremy Moore with a pitch to lead off the third inning. Albuquerque led 3-1 at the time. In the first inning, Moore called for time while at the plate just before a Cleto pitch, which appeared to miff Cleto.
Both benches started to empty after Moore was hit, and he started heading toward the mound. But the umpires stepped in and there was no major incident. Both teams received a warning.
As if that helped.
Moore didn’t get a chance to face Cleto again, as the Memphis right-hander was lifted with no outs, one run in and two on in the bottom of the fourth. Moore, probably not so coincidentally, was coming to the plate.
Enter Redbirds reliever Jorge Rondon, and Moore got his revenge by crushing a three-run homer to make it 8-2.
The ‘Topes’ Justin Sellers was next to bat, and two pitches later it was time to rumble. On a 1-0 count, Rondon fired a ball that appeared to hit Sellers in the neck-shoulder area. Both benches emptied – as did the bullpens from left field.
After the teams were finally separated, the umpires met and started issuing ejections. Memphis’ Rondon, catcher Rob Johnson, pitcher Mitchell Boggs (out of the bullpen) and manager Ron Warner were all tossed.
The umpires then informed Bundy that Moore, Sellers, Dee Gordon, Aaron Laffey (from the bullpen) and Ryal (at first base coach and not playing) were ejected from his roster. Bundy vehemently protested.
Then he was ejected as well.
In the end, the umpires ruled that Sellers was not hit by the pitch, and that it just went over his left shoulder.