It doesn't seem likely that a pitcher with a 5-0 lead would be throwing at a batter. No point in waking up a slumbering opponent.
But when the Milwaukee Brewers' Jaime Navarro hit Joe Carter a little above the elbow in the fourth inning at Toronto on Wednesday, Carter thought it was intentional. He charged the mound, both benches emptied and there was a 10-minute free-for-all.
Some punches were thrown and there was a lot of pushing and shoving. Carter was ejected. In the sixth inning, Todd Stottlemyre of the Blue Jays threw inside to Paul Molitor, and he was ejected.
The Brewers won, 8-4.
In the melee, Toronto Manager Cito Gaston claimed that Milwaukee pitching coach Don Rowe punched him.
"You go out there to stop fights, not start them," Gaston said. "They came out of the dugout and went right after Joe. I didn't want Joe out there on his own."
Manager Phil Garner of the Brewers defended Navarro.
"He hit Carter, but he didn't hit him on purpose," Garner said. "Jaime was pitching a heck of a game, he didn't want to hit him. We're battling to win a ballgame and you don't want runners on base in this park."
Stottlemyre was upset about his ejection. He said that when umpire Greg Kosc warned him, he told the umpire that he usually pitched inside.
"I said I wasn't going to change my style," Stottlemyre said.
Molitor hit a two-run home run in the first inning to help the Brewers to their 5-0 lead.
Manuel Lee hit a two-run home run for the Blue Jays in the fifth, but Greg Vaughn hit his ninth home run, a three-run shot, in the sixth to break it open.
Navarro pitched 7 1/3 innings to even his record at 4-4.
Texas 4, Chicago 3--Nolan Ryan can't seem to get a victory. In his previous start, he left with a 5-1 lead and a one-hitter after seven innings. The bullpen couldn't hold it and the Rangers lost.
In this game at Texas, Ryan left after six innings after giving up only two runs and six hits and striking out eight. But he trailed, 2-1.
The Rangers at least kept Ryan from losing. They scored twice in the ninth against Bobby Thigpen. Thigpen had earned saves in his previous 12 appearances.
The Rangers won in the 11th when Juan Gonzalez, after fouling off numerous pitches, drew a walk and scored on Kevin Reimer's double down the right-field line.
Cleveland 4, Oakland 2--Paul Sorrento hit two home runs and Albert Belle also homered to lead the Indians to a sweep of the three-game series at Oakland.
In the last four games, Belle is 10 for 15. He has hit five home runs, scored nine runs and driven in nine runs.
Scott Scudder (3-5), who was making his 50th start in the major leagues, came close to getting his first complete game. But he needed help after getting one out in the ninth.
The Athletics' Rickey Henderson suffered an injured hamstring stealing second in the third inning and had to leave the game. After that, the Athletics didn't have much offense.
Henderson is expected to miss a couple of games.
Dave Stewart (3-5) was the loser. He served up the three home runs, but only two other hits in seven innings.
Minnesota 5, New York 1--A month ago, John Smiley was wondering why he was having so much trouble in the American League.
Lately, he has found the league no tougher than the NL, where he won 20 games last season.
The left-hander obtained from Pittsburgh a little before the season started turned in his best game so far in the AL. He struck out eight batters in eight innings at Minnesota and improved his record to 4-3.
"I've turned the page. Things are working well for me," he said. "Now I'm having fun. Slowly, things are starting to come around."
Yankee shortstop Mike Gallego's error helped the Twins break the game open with four runs in the third inning.
Seattle 7, Baltimore 1--The Mariners insisted there was nothing wrong with Erik Hanson as he lost game after game.
Hanson, an 18-game winner last season, indicated they were right in this game at Seattle.
Hanson (2-7) gave up four hits and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time since April 12. Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez hit home runs for Seatte.
"I've found out what's wrong," Hanson said. "I've always had a tendency to overthrow the baseball. It's my competitiveness. I have too much for my own good."
The Mariners got to Ben McDonald (6-2), who won his first six decisions, for seven runs and eight hits in five innings.
Detroit 11, Kansas City 2--It was a big night at Detroit for Lou Whitaker. He triggered a five-run first inning with a two-run home run. Then he sparked a six-run fifth with a two-run double.
The big innings made it easy for Scott Aldred (2-4), who gave up six hits in six innings. Aldred had a shutout until Kevin McReynolds hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
Cecil Fielder had three doubles for the Tigers, and Mark Carreon had a three-run home run.
The Royals fell to 7-18 on the road. Mike Boddicker (0-3) made only his third start for the Royals and fooled no one. He gave up nine runs and 10 hits before being removed in the fifth.