ARLINGTON, Texas — A feud simmering since Jose Bautista’s bat flip in last year’s AL Division Series boiled over into a wild brawl in the final game of the season between Toronto and Texas, a 7-6 victory for the Rangers on Sunday.
Bautista and Texas second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fistfight behind the bag after a hard slide by the Toronto slugger in the eighth inning. Players from both teams rushed the field as Odor landed a punch to Bautista’s face.
Umpires needed about 10 minutes to restore order, and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder with the next pitch when the game resumed. He was ejected after an earlier warning for both teams when Bautista was hit by a pitch from Matt Bush.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was among eight ejections in the game after an argument in the third inning, but he was back on the field during the brawl.
First base coach Tim Leiper was tossed in a separate argument in the third, and bench coach Demarlo Hale, filling in for Gibbons, was ejected when Chavez (0-1) hit Fielder.
Ian Desmond hit a three-run homer in the seventh to give Bush his first major league win two days after the 30-year-old rookie made his major league debut.
Bush (1-0), a former No. 1 overall pick whose career was derailed by several alcohol-related incidents, was released from prison in October after serving 3 1/2 years in a drunken-driving case that seriously injured a 72-year-old man on a motorcycle.
Desmond finished with four RBIs. Adrian Beltre’s sixth homer was the first by a right-handed hitter in 342 career attempts against Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez.
The brawl started when Bautista slid through the base at second, forcing Odor to throw wildly to first on an attempted double play. Odor turned to Bautista and shoved him before landing the punch.
Texas was awarded an inning-ending double play on the Chase Utley rule, and Sam Dyson pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the season.
Dyson was on the mound when Bautista famously flipped his bat on a clutch three-run homer in the seventh inning of the deciding fifth game of last year’s division series in Toronto.
Bautista gave Toronto a 5-2 lead with a three-run double in the sixth. Troy Tulowitzki had three hits and scored two runs.