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If they tracked the distances of bat flips as they do home runs, Yasiel Puig would after Sunday have found himself firmly in second place behind Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the A’s leading the Orioles 10-0, Oakland reliever Fernando Abad threw his first pitch way inside to Machado, and then did the same with his second pitch. Machado hacked at the second offering, but let his bat go in the direction of the A’s defense. It ended up sailing down the leftfield line, past third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
You might have thought it had merely slipped, if you didn’t know the backstory. On Friday, Machado got into a verbal tiff with Donaldson after Donaldson knocked him over with a tag. You can see it here:
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Benches and bullpens cleared then, and they predictably cleared again Sunday, though no one seemed very enthusiastic about the idea of a brawl in either case.
Both Abad and Machado were tossed from the game, which the A’s ended up winning 11-1.
“The bat slipped out of my hands,” Machado explained to reporters after the game ... naturally. Machado, who is batting just .235, ended the series with a total of two hits to match his two bench-clearing incidents, as well as 25 new frenemies. He’ll meet them again July 18, when the Orioles visit the A’s for their first series after the All-Star break, which will give him plenty of time to acquire both some stickier batting gloves and a calmer temper.