Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor has been suspended by MLB for 8 games following a brawl during Sunday's game between the Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays. He will reportedly appeal.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was suspended one game for his role in the brawl. Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez was suspended three games for retaliation. Toronto manager John Gibbons was also suspended three games.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was suspended one game.
Sunday afternoon's game in Arlington, Texas, was the last of a three-game weekend series against the Jays — the teams had previously met this season at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
In the 8th inning of Sunday's game, Rangers relief pitcher Matt Bush — who was appearing in only his second game in the major leagues after serving 3 1/4 years in prison for nearly killing a motorcyclist in Florida while driving drunk — plunked Bautista with a pitch in the ribs. The Rangers were up one run, and Bush's hit by pitch, deliberate or not, put the tying run on base. Bush was fined for throwing at Bautista.
Two batters later, Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak hit into a double play to end the inning. While running for second, however, Bautista aggressively and illegally started a late slide that looked to take out Rangers second baseman Odor. The subject of late slides at second base has been one of much contention this season, following a rule change that in theory will make plays at second safer, but has mostly led to confusion.
Odor responded to the slide by punching Bautista squarely in the face. Bautista was held back by veteran Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, but players from both teams rushed the field and started pushing and shoving each other.
The next inning, Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez plunked Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder, again causing the benches to clear briefly.
The Rangers held on to their one-run lead to win the game.
This isn't the first time the Blue Jays and Rangers have had issues. The two teams met for last year's AL Division Series that ended in five games following one of the wildest and most contentious games in recent history. The game was tied until the 7th inning when Odor scored on a confusing play, which led the Blue Jays to play the game under protest while fans in Toronto threw trash and beer on the field.
The Blue Jays got their revenge in the bottom of the inning, when Bautista demolished a three-run home run to put Toronto on top. As soon as the ball left the bat, Bautista watched it travel, then tossed a massive bat flip before rounding the bases. The benches cleared twice before the Blue Jays won the game and the series.
In April 2015, a fight between the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox ended with several suspensions. For that brawl, four Royals players were suspended between two and seven games each, and two White Sox pitchers were suspended for five games each.