Tempers flare and benches clear! Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles get after each other in fiery encounter as MLB’s playoff race reaches boiling point
- Benches cleared at the top of the eighth inning as Tampa Bay led Baltimore 6-2
- Both teams pushed and shoved each other before game returned to normalcy
- Tampa won 8-2 & resultantly jumped ahead of the Orioles in the AL wildcard race
The MLB playoff race is reaching boiling point… and as the stakes raise, so do the tempers.
Tampa Bay and Baltimore played their part in heightening such notions on Saturday night, with both benches clearing in the top of the eighth inning with the Rays up 6-2.
Tampa would go on to add two more runs to Baltimore’s zero, ensuring the win which took the Rays into the final wildcard place, half a game above the Orioles.
Pete Fairbanks & Robinson Chirinos were both at the center of the tension between both teams
The furor arose after Tampa pitcher Pete Fairbanks grew agitated with a timeout call as he wound up to pitch to Robinson Chirinos.
After striking out the Orioles catcher, he yelled at Chirinos, seemingly goading him. It worked, with the Venezuelan trying to make his way toward Fairbanks, sparking both benches to clear and make their way onto the field.
Fairbanks mistakenly blamed Chirinos when the umpire was responsible for time being called.
‘There was a late time call, I took offense,’ Fairbanks explained postgame, via the Tampa Bay Times. ‘Apparently I misunderstood who had called time, where it came from.
The Orioles still have an enormous opportunity to make the playoffs via the wildcard spots
‘Apparently it was the umpire, not Chirinos. I, as you guys know, can be a little fiery. So I think that that might have caused some things.’
The Rays and Orioles are currently squaring off — for the final time this season — before Tampa travel to the Bronx for a three-game set against the Yankees.
Baltimore will dust off their passports for a vital three-game series of their own as they travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays.
Just two games separate the Orioles (59-54) and the Blue Jays (61-51) — who occupy the AL’s second wildcard place.
Fairbanks escalated events by mouthing off at his Orioles opponent during the Rays’ win