ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Houston Astros pitcher Bryan Abreu and manager Dusty Baker were ejected from Game 5 of the AL Championship series after the reliever hit the Texas Rangers’ Adolis García with a pitch in the eighth inning Friday, triggering benches to clear two innings following the slugger’s go-ahead home run.
García also was ejected by the umpires during a confrontation that caused a 12-minute delay.
Houston trailed 4-2 at the time but rallied for a 5-4 win and a 3-2 series lead behind Jose Altuve’s three-run homer in the ninth off José Leclerc.
Following Evan Carter’s leadoff walk, García was hit on his upper left arm by a 98.9 mph first-pitch fastball and immediately turned and got into the face of catcher Martín Maldonado. García dropped his bat and waved his right index finger in Maldonado’s face while the slugger was held back by plate umpire Marvin Hudson. García managed to extend his left arm over the umpire and shove Maldonado’s right shoulder
Both benches and bullpens cleared, with players from both sides surrounding each other at home plate. García was restrained by Houston’s Yordan Alvarez and Rangers teammates.
The umpires conferenced and ejected Abreu and García. Baker walked in front of the Astros dugout, arms spread wide, and got into an animated conversation with three of the umpires. Baker threw his cap, then was ejected, too. The 74-year-old continued to argue from the dugout with Hudson for six minutes before heading to the clubhouse.
The Rangers led 4-2 after García’s three-run homer in the sixth inning. He took 16 steps up the line as he watched the ball and pounded his chest, and was more than halfway to first when he empathically spiked his bat and started jogging.
On July 26 in Houston, Alvarez got hit by a pitch right after Alex Bregman homered in the first inning of that series finale, and Texas’ Marcus Semien took a retaliatory plunk in the third.
Semien hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fourth, and exchanged words with Maldonado. An inning later, Semien scored on a grand slam by García, who was face-to-face with the catcher when the benches cleared, though no punches were thrown.