Tempers are heating up and the benches are clear! Tampa Bay and Baltimore go head to head in fiery meeting as MLB playoff race reaches boiling point
- Banks were cleared in the top of the eighth inning when Tampa Bay Baltimore led 6-2
- Both teams pushed and pushed each other before play returned to normal
- Tampa won 8-2 to jump ahead of the Orioles in the AL wildcard race
The MLB playoff race is reaching boiling point… and as the stakes rise, so do the tempers.
Tampa Bay and Baltimore played their part in cementing such views on Saturday-evening, with both benches being released in the top of the eighth inning with the Rays making a 6-2 score.
Tampa would then add two more runs to Baltimore’s out, taking the win that took the Rays to the final wildcard spot, half a game over the Orioles.
Pete Fairbanks & Robinson Chirinos were both at the center of the tension between the two teams
The fury arose after Tampa pitcher Pete Fairbanks got agitated with a time-out call when he ended up throwing to Robinson Chirinos.
After hitting the Orioles catcher, he yelled at Chirinos, seemingly urging him. It worked, with the Venezuelan trying to make his way to Fairbanks, causing both banks to clear and make their way onto the field.
Fairbanks wrongly blamed Chirinos when the umpire was responsible for calling the time.
“There was a late call, I took offense,” Fairbanks explained after the game via the Tampa Bay Times. ‘Apparently I didn’t understand who had called the time, where it came from.
The Orioles still have a huge shot at making the playoffs through the wildcard spots
“Apparently it was the referee, not Chirinos. I, as you know, can be a little fiery. So I think that’s what caused it.’
The Rays and Orioles currently face each other — for the last time this season — before Tampa travels to the Bronx for a three-game set against the Yankees.
Baltimore will be dusting their passports for a must-see three-game run for themselves as they travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays.
Only two games separate the Orioles (59-54) and the Blue Jays (61-51) — who take the AL’s second wildcard spot.
Fairbanks escalated events by berating his Orioles opponent during the Rays’ victory