OAKLAND — The A’s completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 7-2 victory on Sunday at the Coliseum, but not before a bench-clearing altercation between the two teams erupted in the seventh inning.
A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano, on first base after he was hit in the back by a Humberto Castellanos pitch, charged at Houston hitting coach Alex Cintron after the two got into a shouting match.
With the A’s leading 6-2, Laureano had some choice words for Castellanos as he walked toward first base. Cooler heads appeared to prevail when Laureano reached first, but he and Cintron got into a verbal back-and-forth before an irate Laureano ran towards the Astros dugout.
Laureano was tackled by Astros pitcher Zack Greinke before he could get to Cintron. Both benches and bullpens emptied.
The melee quickly dispersed, but not before Laureano, who could also face supplemental discipline for the incident, was ejected. A’s catcher Austin Allen was also ejected from the game. No Astros player or coach was ejected from the incident, although manager Dusty Baker was ejected earlier in the game for arguing balls and strikes.
A’s batters were hit five times by Astros pitchers in three games in the series.
Last month, Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was suspended eight games and manager Dave Roberts was banned for one game by Major League Baseball for an altercation in a game with the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
MLB officials were reportedly upset by the incident, with opposing players breaking protocol by unnecessarily getting so close to each other.
Sunday’s fracas added another chapter to the already simmering rivalry between the two teams, as the A’s, with the win, took a 5 1/2 game lead in the American League West.
Robbie Grossman, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman all homered for Oakland. Olson hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning off Astros starter Cristian Javier for a 4-1 lead, and Chapman followed that with a solo homer to left.
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Author: Curtis Pashelka