Opinion

Benches clear in Chicago as Royals, White Sox brawl (with video, fan reaction)

Chicago White Sox's Jeff Samardzija, center, fights with Kansas City Royals players during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 23, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Chicago White Sox's Jeff Samardzija, center, fights with Kansas City Royals players during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 23, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles) AP

A storm brewing for three weeks erupted on Thursday evening when the Royals brawled with the White Sox during the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Lorenzo Cain traded blows with Chicago pitcher Jeff Samardzija as all 50 members of both clubs tussled on the diamond.

(For more developments on this story, and the Royals' 3-2 victory, click or tap here)

In the end, Cain and Samardzija were tossed, along with Ventura, White Sox starter Chris Sale and Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez. For the third consecutive game, Ventura triggered an on-field incident. This time, punches were actually thrown.

The game did not end for another five innings. Eric Hosmer ripped a double to plate Jarrod Dyson in the 13th. Dyson was only in the game because Cain had been tossed. The score had long since been usurped by the fisticuffs.

Eaton. Eaton turned back to confront Ventura. The umpires separated both. Mike Moustakas rushed to remove Ventura from the fray as the dugouts and bullpens emptied.

The players engaged in something resembling a rugby scrum for several moments. Manager Ned Yost spoke with Sale. At some point, Cain and Samardzija found each other. Samardzija charged at Cain, who was being held back by hitting coach Dale Sveum. Samardzija missed Cain and bowled over third-base coach Mike Jirschele. As Samardzija went to the ground, Edinson Volquez swung at his head and missed with a wild haymaker.

The pile shifted to the ground. Cain emerged with his jersey over his head, like a hockey player. White Sox utility man Emilio Bonifacio, a former Royal, played peacemaker by separating Kelvin Herrera, and later Ventura, from the fight.

The fight between Cain and Samardzija stemmed from Opening Day. Samardzija drilled Cain with a pitch. The Royals felt it was intentional. They left their dugout to shout at Samardzija. Seventeen days later, the bill arrived. 

The scene stained yet another outing in Kansas City’s defense of their American League title. The club saw six people ejected against Oakland this past weekend. Major League Baseball suspended Herrera and fined Ventura for targeting Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie.

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