Rougned Odor says he was trying to protect himself when he punched Jose Bautista on Sunday.

By SI Wire
May 16, 2016

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Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor says he was trying to protect himself when he punched Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista on Sunday, reports the Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson.

“I think you saw what happened yesterday,” said Odor, whose suspension for the incident is expected to be announced as early as Tuesday. “For me, I think it was a pretty hard slide, but you saw what happened. I knew he was going to come hard. I can tell when somebody is coming hard to second base, so I was just trying to protect myself.

“It’s part of the game.”

• Bautista, Odor at fault in brawl, but MLB culture bears blame too

When Bautista committed the late slide with Odor attempting to turn a double play, a brawl ensued that resulted in a punch to Bautista’s face. 

Bautista, Odor, Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson and Texas bench coach Steve Buechele were ejected after the incident.

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