Benches clear twice in Yankees-Blue Jays game, with multiple ejections

TORONTO -- Tempers flared between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night as a beanball war between the American League East rivals resulted in two bench-clearing incidents in the second inning and multiple ejections.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and starting pitcher Luis Severino were ejected, as were Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bench coach Rob Thomson. No one from the Toronto side was tossed.

The first incident was precipitated by Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ hitting the Yankees' Chase Headley on the hip with his second pitch of the second inning, after narrowly missing him with his first. The Yankees appeared to think this was in retaliation for Severino grazing Josh Donaldson on the elbow pad with a pitch in the first inning. Both benches and bullpens emptied after Headley exchanged words with Happ, but order was quickly restored and and plate umpire Todd Tichenor issued a warning to both benches.

But things got much more heated in the bottom of the inning when Severino nailed Justin Smoak with his second pitch of the second inning after, like Happ, narrowly missing him with his first.

This time, there were shoves on both sides after the teams came together, and at least one Yankee, Tyler Austin, appeared to be hit with a punch on his left cheekbone, which showed a bloody nick. The two catchers, Gary Sanchez and Russell Martin, also nearly came together but were kept separated by teammates.

Severino, who was making his first start since Aug. 13, was on a short leash to begin with, expected to throw no more than 50 pitches. But his night ended after 34 pitches and one run allowed in the first inning.

It was Girardi's third ejection of the season; the last was Aug. 29 when he argued balls and strikes with plate umpire Brian O'Nora in Kansas City.