It seemed to all start when Freddie Freeman was hit in the left hand by Aaron Loup in the bottom of the fifth inning and exited the game. In the top of the sixth, Devon Travis was hit by a Mike Foltynewicz pitch.
With both teams already on high alert, the benches cleared for the first time in the top of the seventh after Jason Motte struck out Kevin Pillar on a quick pitch, and Toronto’s centre-fielder had words for the Braves relief pitcher. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied, but that’s as far as it went.
Pillar admitted after the game that his actions following Motte’s quick pitch were “uncalled for.”
An inning later, Jose Bautista put his mark on the game. The Blue Jays slugger took Eric O’Flaherty deep to cut the Braves lead to 8-4, and promptly flipped his bat (watch HR in video above). Jace Peterson appeared to have words for Bautista as he rounded first base, and then No. 19 and Atlanta catcher Kurt Suzuki came together at home plate. Neither team escalated the confrontation any further.
Speaking to reporters post-game, Bautista said he told Suzuki that he “wasn’t trying to show up anybody.”
However, O’Flaherty had some strong words for Bautista after the game.
The Blue Jays wrap up their four-game home-and-home series against the Braves on Thursday.