White Sox beat Guardians after Anderson and Ramírez exchange punches in brawl
CLEVELAND (AP) — A bench-clearing melee that began with Tim Anderson of the White Sox and José Ramírez of the Guardians exchanging punches at second base in the sixth inning led to six ejections during Chicago’s 7-4 victory over Cleveland on Saturday night.
Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase, manager Terry Francona and third base coach Mike Sarbaugh, and White Sox manager Pedro Grifol also were ejected for their actions during a 15-minute brawl that included three additional flare-ups.
The altercation began when Ramírez slid headfirst into second with an RBI double and Anderson stood over him. When Ramírez got up, he pointed his finger in Anderson’s face and yelled, prompting them to square off.
“I think he’s been disrespecting the game for a while,” said Ramírez, who dropped Anderson with a right hook after the first punch was thrown by the Chicago shortstop. “I was telling him to stop doing that. After he tapped me really hard, more than needed, he said he wanted to fight and I had to defend myself.”
Anderson, who exited the ballpark before the clubhouse was opened to reporters, charged out of the dugout several minutes after being tossed, prompting teammate Andrew Vaughn to physically carry him to the clubhouse steps.
White Sox manager Pedro Grifol declined to talk about the fight, saying, “I’m going to let MLB figure this out. They’ve got some work to do. Thank God I haven’t heard any news out of the training room about injuries.”
Elvis Andrus hit a two-run homer and Vaughn, Luis Robert Jr. and Óscar Colás each had a solo shot off Guardians starter Noah Syndergaard (1-5), who allowed a career-high four home runs in his initial outing at Progressive Field.
“We know Timmy, that’s why we love him and are always going to support him and have his back,” said Andrus, who had three hits and two stolen bases. “He plays with passion and gives 100% in the field. Stuff like this helps teams get united.”
Sarbaugh was tossed for aggressively moving toward Chicago’s coaching staff, while the blue-haired Clase had to be escorted back to the bullpen by teammate Josh Naylor, who is on the injured list.
White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech (5-10) carried a no-hitter into the sixth and exited after allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He improved to 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in five career starts against Cleveland.
Anderson and Ramírez are likely facing suspensions, and perhaps other participants in the fight as well.
Chicago is 24 games under .500, but the Guardians (54-57) are only 3 1/2 games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central.
“We’re not going to be bullied by a team that’s playing under .500,” Kopech said. “Obviously, in divisional baseball, you have to see a lot of each other. There has been a lot of mouthing off between the teams the last few series.”
Syndergaard, acquired from the Dodgers in a July 26 trade for Amed Rosario, worked six innings and gave up five runs, all on homers. Will Brennan had two hits and drove in two runs for the Guardians.
“Before everything started, I know Anderson was yelling at (first baseman Gabriel) Arias and the umpire told him to knock it off,” Francona said. “Then, things got away from everybody.”
White Sox closer Gregory Santos was placed on the bereavement list before the game. Right-hander Lane Ramsey, who stands 6-foot-9, was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
White Sox RHP Bryan Shaw led the AL in appearances four times in his seven seasons with Cleveland, where he ranks third in franchise history with 519 games pitched.
The 35-year-old reliever made his 763rd career appearance — moving into 70th place all-time — and remains a favorite of Francona’s.
“His arm is so resilient, he can rack up innings and he’s always available,” Francona said. “I don’t think he was appreciated as much as he should have been at times in Cleveland.”
White Sox: Robert (back soreness) continues to play through pain, but Grifol is carefully monitoring the situation. “The back is the back, there are no guarantees,” Grifol said. “But he is headed in the right direction.”
Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (right shoulder inflammation), on the 15-day injured list since July 6, threw a simulated game Friday at Double-A Akron. Francona believes Quantrill will begin a rehab assignment “soon.”
White Sox RHP Jesse Scholtens (1-4, 3.07 ERA) faces Guardians RHP Xzavion Curry (3-1, 2.90 ERA) in the three-game series finale. Both pitchers are making their fourth starts after spending most of the season in the bullpen.
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