Benches cleared in Detroit on Wednesday after White Sox pitcher Chris Sale hit Tigers catcher Victor Martinez with a pitch in the sixth inning.
No punches were thrown, but after the game Martinez and Detroit manager Brad Ausmus made it clear that they felt the plunking was intentional.
"It was just weak on Sale's part," said Ausmus, according to the Detroit Free Press. "You don't take a chance ... if they injure Victor there, and we're in the playoff hunt, that's bad news. That just can't happen. He clearly did it on purpose."
Martinez entered Wednesday with a .536 average against Sale in 28 at-bats, with three home runs. Sale struck out Martinez in the third inning, then motioned to center field. After hitting Martinez, Sale once again pointed at center.
Ausmus alleged that the White Sox "claimed someone with binoculars in center field was giving signs to Victor," which the manager said seemed "a little bit ludicrous" to claim.
Sale said he was acknowledging a fan who was talking trash to him before the game while he was warming up, saying Martinez was going to light Sale up.
The Tigers won the game 6-1.
- Molly Geary