Sports

Angels and Mariners players throw punches in benches-clearing brawl


It took less than two innings for Sunday’s Angels matinee against the Seattle Mariners to turn into a fight in the Octagon.

Angels opener Andrew Wantz hit Jesse Winker with a pitch in the second inning, prompting Mariners manager Scott Servais to motion for Wantz to be ejected. Wantz and both teams were given warnings in the first inning after the pitcher threw inside to Julio Rodriguez.

But Winker was already exchanging words with the Angels’ dugout, and before plate umpire John Bacon and third base umpire Adrian Johnson could try to defuse the situation, Winker started pushing toward the Angels’ dugout, and the benches and bullpens cleared. Anthony Rendon, recovering from season-ending wrist surgery, charged out with the rest of his team, shoving his left hand into Winker’s face.

The brawl, pushed into the back netting between the dugout and home plate, involved the Mariners’ J.P. Crawford jumping over his teammates to punch one of the Angels.

Winker ended up near the bottom of a pile of players, as he appeared to scuffle with Angels reliever Ryan Tepera. Recent Angels call-up Monte Harrison and left fielder Brandon Marsh were among the dozens trying to separate teammates and coaches.

After the commotion on the field started to die down, Angel Stadium fans starting chanting “Let’s go Angels!” before another fight broke out.

Angels starter Noah Syndergaard and Rodriguez were among those who needed to be held back from the big group.

Winker, as he went back to the dugout, flipped off the crowd. A short time later, he came out of the dugout and raised his middle fingers to the crowd.

Angels closer Raisel Iglesias, a teammate of Winker’s on the Cincinnati Reds from 2017-2020, then grabbed the box of sunflower seed packs from the dugout and launched them onto the field, scattering them onto the third-base line.

The Angels dugout emptied again, the rest of the relievers in the bullpen figuring whether to make their way back toward their teammates. The Angels’ bucket of bubblegum also was launched onto the infield, landing between second and third base.
The bad blood between the two teams likely was a result of Mariners reliever Erik Swanson throwing toward Mike Trout’s head in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game.

In total, eight players and managers were ejected: interim manager Phil Nevin, closer Iglesias, Tepera, Wantz, Servais, Winker, Rodriguez and Crawford.

The Angels restarted the game with José Suarez on the mound. Suarez was already set to come in for Wantz as the bulk guy in the opener game. The Mariners put Adam Frazier in to pinch run for Winker. Frazier remained in the game at left field. They also replaced Rodriguez with Taylor Trammel at center, then slotted in Abraham Toro at second base and shifted Dylan Moore to shortstop.

The fight caused about an 18-minute delay in the game.

Not since the June 2, 1998, brawl against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium have the Angels fought an opponent for so long and with such ferocity.

That game featured two benches-clearing incidents, including a ninth-inning melee that delayed the game for 15 minutes, and a dozen ejections. Nevin, a catcher on that 1998 Angels team, started the first brawl when he charged the mound in the seventh inning after getting hit by a pitch for the second time.

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.




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