ANAHEIM, Calif. ( Associated Press) — When the Angels decided late on Sunday to go with less-used reliever Andrew Wontz as their opener on the mound, the Mariners suspected they were going to get paid for a fastball. Maybe that got too close to Mike Trout’s head last night.
Halos insists that was not his intention – and yet Vontz threw a pitch behind Julio Rodriguez’s head in the first inning and then hit Jesse Winker in the hip to start the second.
A wild, angry brawl ensued, resulting in the ouster of six players and both managers. The fracas would be sorely missed by both teams compared to the Angels’ 2–1 win over Seattle.
“It probably shouldn’t have happened in the game, what happened there today,” said Seattle manager Scott Servais. “Emotions were running high, but it was pretty clear what was going on. He switched, put an opener in there to throw some balls at us. Got out of hand, and a kind of black eye.”
Both teams threw several punches in the scuffle, which began when Winker accused the Angels of evacuating the Angels after yelling at Angels interim manager Phil Nevin.
“Look, you play eight games a week against the same team, things like that happen,” Nevin said after LA’s eighth game in 11 days against Seattle. “Scheduling, tension, that’s baseball. Sometimes, unfortunately. Sometimes something bad happens. I think that’s what happened today.”
The game was delayed by about 18 minutes due to a four-minute devastation. With both managers, the Angels lost Vantz, close Raisel Iglesias and reliever Ryan Tapera, while the Mariners lost Winker, Rodriguez and JP Crawford – three of the first four hitters in their lineup.
“My only comment is it’s classless,” said Seattle starter Marco Gonzales. “To throw at Julio, who’s a kid, is what happened last night, when we were trying to win a ballgame in the ninth inning (and didn’t) put the tying run on base, to come out and go to our pitcher.” It’s classless before changing the game. It’s clear. The intention is clear.”
Vontz’s pitch behind Rodriguez was certainly a response to Eric Swanson’s 95 mph fastball near Trout’s head in the ninth inning on Saturday night, a throw that impressed the three-time AL MVP. Wontz insisted that was not the case.
“I was so excited for my first start, and the first just took off from me,” Wontz said. “It was sweaty. I was sweating. The first day’s play is what I’ve done (in the majors), and that’s it. The second one for Winker was a cut fastball and (I) just shrugged it off. That’s all I have to say.”
The umpires issued warnings for both dugouts after Vontz pitched behind Rodriguez, but Winker and the Angels later set it up in an innings, leaving both the bench and bullpen empty. Both Servais and Gonzales felt that the umpires had made a mistake by not evicting Vantz immediately.
“I don’t know about the incident with Trout since last night,” crew chief Adrian Johnson told a pool reporter. “You’re talking about the pitch that went over his head. It was nothing for us to issue a warning to today. What happened today came in the grip of a man. We had a warning. ,
Wounded Angels star Anthony Rendon throws an open left arm across Winker’s face during the melee, notable because his right hand is in a cast: The Hallows’ $245 million third baseman is already out for a second straight season.
When Winker finally left the field, he made obscene gestures with both hands at the taunting Angels fans behind Seattle’s dugout.
“The only thing I’m going to apologize for is the fans shuddering,” Winker said. “That’s all. As fans, they’re spending their hard earned money to watch us play a game, and they didn’t deserve it, so I apologize to the fans, especially the women and children.”
After the field was cleared, Iglesias returned moments later and threw large containers of sunflower seeds and gum into the field, while yelling at the umpires, furious at their disapproval.
The rest of the game ended without incident. Luis Rengifo homeridden and David McKinnon scored a tiebreaking run with a single in seventh for the Angels, who avoided a series sweep with just their fourth win in their last 18 home games.
Gonzales (4-8) bowled a five-hitting ball in the seventh inning of a difficult defeat for the left-hander and the Mariners, which ended 5-1 on an impressive road trip – although the finale was overseen by Fisticuffs Was.
Seattle scored the first of the game in a sixth-place finish on a first homer in 22 games by Abraham Toro, who replaced Crawford at the top of the Mariners’ lineup.
Rengifo tied it with a solo homer from Gonzales in seventh, somehow golfing a change well below the strike zone over the fence in left center for his third homer of the season.
Monte Harrison then walked and scored a two-out single by McKinnon off Andres Muoz, who has scored a run with each of his three career hits since reaching the Majors last week.
Harrison cautiously made sure his run counted by diving headfirst into the home just before the Mariners took out Trout in third place.
Jose Suarez (1-2) protected the Angels’ dwindling bullpen when he relieved Vontz and dismissed eight innings of six overs off a five-hitting ball.
Oliver Ortega got six outs to save his first career, which helped a lot when Max Stacy knocked out Adam Frazier in an attempt to steal second out of ninth.
Angels: 2B Matt Duffy left with lower back stiffness in the fourth inning.
Mariners: George Kirby (2-2, 3.12 ERA) takes the mound in Seattle on Monday to open a series against Tyler Wells (5-4, 3.34) and the Baltimore Orioles.
Angels: Noah Syndergaard (4-6, 3.86 ERA) made his 12th debut in the home series against Lucas Giolito (4-4, 5.40 ERA) and the Chicago White Sox. Thor has played 8 1/3 innings without a score in his two career starts against the Sox.
More Associated Press MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports