The Los Angeles Dodgers naturally were among the teams most vocal in the wake of MLB finding the Houston Astros electronically stole signs during their 2017 World Series season, and Tuesday marked the first time the teams faced off since that point.
The Dodgers spent the days leading up to the series opener largely downplaying the significance of the matchup and shifting the focus to this season rather than avenging their loss in the World Series.
“Coming into the ballpark, it brought up some memories. I think everybody is going to feel differently,” manager Dave Roberts said before first pitch. “I know that both teams’ players were vocal this past winter, but a lot of time has passed.
“Doesn’t change the history or what happened, but I think right now the focus is and has to be on whatever it takes to win tonight. People have alluded to intentionally throwing at a player, I don’t see that happening. I just don’t want to take away our focus from winning tonight and tomorrow.”
Carlos Correa and Joe Kelly exchanged words after Kelly struck out Correa. Benches cleared following the exchange. pic.twitter.com/sVHaibpN2y
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 29, 2020
However, tensions rose in the sixth inning, as Joe Kelly struggled with his command. He sailed a fastball back of Alex Bregman’s head for ball four, and also buzzed Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa on multiple occasions.
Kelly came back to strike out Correa, then mocked his reaction to the slider in the dirt that got him swinging. Correa took exception to that and exchanged words with Kelly as both benches cleared.
Players largely remained calm and were separated rather quickly so that play could continue. Both teams were warned after that point.
MLB warns against altercations
With MLB emphasizing player safety this season, that also applies to altercations and arguments between players and umpires. The league warned suspensions and fines could be levied if six feet of physical distancing was violated during a skirmish.
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