Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays

Watch Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leave bench to confront Nick Pivetta after HBP

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta got into it after Alejandro Kirk was hit by a pitch.

The Blue Jays and Red Sox were not content to let the Angels and Mariners have all the spotlight this week.

The two teams cleared the benches on Wednesday as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Nick Pivetta got into a verbal spat.

It all went down in the third inning with Pivetta on the mound facing Alejandro Kirk. A 94-mph fastball hit the batter on the elbow and sparked a minor kerfuffle.

Watch Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leave bench to confront Nick Pivetta after HBP

It’s not exactly clear if the pitch or Pivetta’s reaction to Boston manager Alex Cora going to check on his player set off Guerrero Jr.

Whatever it was, Guerrero had to be held back by teammates as both squads squared off relatively peacefully, certainly without any of the theatrics that characterized the Angels-Mariners brawl.

Two Blue Jays were hit by pitches on Tuesday. Kirk was one of them. So it’s possible Toronto thought the catcher was being targeted, especially because he’s on a hot streak. He went into Wednesday’s game with 10 hits in his last 19 at-bats with three home runs and seven RBI.

It’s just clear to everyone else based on context and the pitch that Pivetta wasn’t trying to hit Kirk. It was a 1-1 game in the third, hardly the time to start something.

Kirk walked in his first plate appearance and a fastball did come at him high and in then too. The rest of the at-bat was straightforward enough.

Tempers aren’t are rarely constrained by logic, particularly on a baseball field. At least this one didn’t result in an all-out brawl. But MLB may want to think about shutting the door on clearing benches before they get more Angels-Mariners than Blue Jays-Red Sox.

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