It didn't quite rise to the level of the April game at Fenway in which benches cleared, actual punches were thrown and suspensions followed, but it did get pretty hot between the Red Sox and Yankees Friday night.
In the top of the first, after getting ahead of Brett Gardner 0-and-2, Rick Porcello hit Gardner in right triceps. Gardner glared at Porcello and took his base.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, New York starter Luis Severino came in high and tight with his first pitch to Red Sox leadoff hitter Mookie Betts. Immediately, home plate umpire Adam Hamari warned both benches, which brought Alex Cora out of the dugout like he was shot out of a cannon.
Hamari tried to wave Cora away, but the Red Sox manager persisted and within seconds was ejected, further enraging him. He had to be led away by crew chief Phil Cuzzi.
"I wasn't very polite,'' confessed Cora after the Red Sox' 4-1 win. "That was out of character. I already apologized to my family. ... I was upset with the whole situation. If (the Yankees) retaliated because we hit Brett Gardner on an 0-and-2 pitch, that's their problem.''
In addition to getting his money's worth with the umpires, Cora made his displeasure known to the Yankee dugout, too, barking at them from across the field.
"I know what I said, I know how I feel about it and they know how I feel about it,'' said Cora. "I didn't appreciate him throwing at Mookie Betts's head. If they thought 0-2, front-door sinker, represented intent, well, first pitch of the game right at the head of the best player in baseball -- there's intent. It is what it is. We won the game and we'll move on.''
Betts said he didn't think Severino was deliberately throwing at him, and Severino claimed his innocence in the visitor's clubhouse, saying that if he had chosen to throw at Betts, he wouldn't have missed.
"We definitely didn't take it lightly,'' said Porcello. "We didn't like it, but we were fortunate enough to play hard and come out with the win.''
Cora finished off his press conference with a shot at the Severino.
CORA WALKOFF: Alex Cora takes a not-so thinly veiled shot at Luis Severino when asked if tonight’s animosity is over with Yankees pic.twitter.com/k4apt54swX
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) August 4, 2018
Everything else you need to know, in quickie form, about the Red Sox' 4-1 win over the Yankees, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:
Mookie returns to the infield: In the bottom of the first inning, newly-acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler walked, stole second and scored on a single to center by Eduardo Nunez. But he didn't come back out to his position in the top of the second, having suffered a hamstring strain. That led to some creative shuffling of the Red Sox roster. With Xander Bogaerts still recovering from being drilled in the hand Tuesday night and Rafael Devers on the DL, the Sox had limited options. They opted to shift Mookie Betts from right field to second, moved Steve Pearce from first to right and brought Mitch Moreland off the bench to replace Pearce at first. Betts came up as an infielder, but last played second base there in 2014, when he got in 14 games at second. Betts proposed the idea to bench coach Ron Roenicke, who was acting as interim manager with Cora ejected.