The Astros and Rangers rivalry got ultra-heated on Wednesday night with the benches clearing and multiple ejections after an Adolis Garcia grand slam.
After the Houston Astros took the first two games of their crucial series against the rival Texas Rangers, they went for the sweep on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, that was not to be — and though that may have not been the whole reason as to why, tempers started to flare.
The feistiness began early when Rangers pitcher Andrew Heaney plunked Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez, which was then seemingly retaliated upon in the next inning when Framber Valdez hit Marcus Semien with a pitch.
Later in the game, Semien hit a two-run shot that put Texas ahead 6-3 in the ball game but seemingly had some words then and later on with Houston catcher Martin Maldonado. Then, in the next inning and with Semien on third, Adolis Garcia delivered the kill shot with a grand slam to put the Rangers up 13-3.
While Garcia certainly admired his work, fireworks started at the plate as Semien and then Ezequiel Duran got into it with Maldonado. As Garcia crossed the plate, he tried to break up the verbal scuffle, but that escalated the proceedings, leading to the benches and bullpens clearing and congregating in an unfriendly manner around home plate.
Astros, Rangers benches clear: Marcus Semien, Martin Maldonado ejected
Once tempers calmed down and everyone had gone back to the dugouts, bullpens and positions on the field, Semien and Maldonado were both ejected for essentially starting and escalating the situation.
Given that the Rangers came into Wednesday night having seen their AL West lead trimmed to just one game by the Astros, it’s no wonder that tensions were a little high. At the same time, it was hard not to be taken aback by several mostly even-keeled personalities get this heating on the field.
We can say two things for sure, though: Adolis Garcia tattooed the hell out of that baseball, and we can’t wait for the next set of fireworks sure to come when these division rivals clash again.