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Benches clear after Ryan Dempster plunks Alex Rodriguez

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Alex Rodriguez was at the center of a benches-clearing incident on Sunday.
Alex Rodriguez was at the center of a benches-clearing incident on Sunday. (USATSI)

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For the first time in 12 games since returning to the field, a pitcher threw at Alex Rodriguez. Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster did the honors on Sunday night, planting a 3-0 fastball in A-Rod's ribs. Both benches cleared and Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected.

The hit-by-pitch was 100 percent intentional. There's no doubt about it. The first pitch of the at-bat was behind A-Rod's legs, and the next two were inside before the fourth hit him. Here's the video of the incident:

So yeah, obviously intentional. Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora elected to warn the benches rather than eject Dempster, which is why Girardi argued.

I'm not sure how a pitcher who intentionally hit a batter with a pitch after throwing at him three (!) other times stays in the game. I suppose a fine and a suspension may be coming, but there's the on-field impact of taxing a bullpen and all that. None of that will happen to the Red Sox on Sunday.

Rodriguez came around to score later in the inning. No punches were thrown after the benches cleared, nothing like that. It was a lot of standing around while Girardi argued.

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