Kendall charged the mound and wrestled with the Angels pitcher, spicing up the Oakland Athletics' 10-3 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday. The dugouts and bullpens emptied, followed by a lot of pushing and shoving. No one else was ejected as a result of the sixth-inning scuffle.
Lackey threw a pitch to Kendall that started out high and inside, then sharply broke back toward the plate. Kendall backed out of the batter's box, then suddenly charged the mound after Lackey barked something at him about the elbow pad he wears while batting. The two grabbed each other as they both tumbled to the ground.
"I was looking for a fastball down and away because he started me off like that the first two at-bats. Then certain things were said. I can't repeat it, but I'm not going to let anybody talk to me like that," Kendall said. "It's intense out there. I don't think a lot of people really know how intense it is. But it happened and it's over with."
Lackey said he believes he has the right to vent his opinion about Kendall's batting stance.
"Jason has had a history of leaning out over the plate, trying to get hit," Lackey said. "He stuck his elbow guard out over the plate and I told him not to. He had a problem with it, and he came out and got me. He has a right to do that, and I'm totally cool with it."
Lackey was suspended for five games and fined for throwing at Toronto's Simon Pond on June 24, 2004, after an earlier warning stemming from Blue Jays pitcher Justin Miller plunking three Angels batters. Lackey never missed a start because the Angels had an off day after the suspension was announced and manager Mike Scioscia adjusted his rotation accordingly.
As for Tuesday's scuffle, Scioscia said, "It's an absolute joke. What's disturbing here is that you can let anyone charge the pitcher and get him taken out of the game."
This wasn't the first time Kendall has charged the mound after a pitcher complained about his leaning over the plate. It happened two years ago with current teammate Joe Kennedy while Kennedy was pitching for Colorado and Kendall was playing for Pittsburgh.
"It was kind of the same situation as today," Kennedy said. "No one really knew why it happened, but it was pretty similar. I threw a 1-2 fastball over the plate, and he leaned over and got hit by it. I told him, 'Next time get out of the way,' and he came at me.
"When I was running out there today, I was like, `Hey, I've done this before with Jason.' But I was out of breath by the time I got there, so I wouldn't have been able to do much."
Brendan Donnelly replaced Lackey on the mound and Adam Melhuse finished Kendall's at-bat, beating the relay from second baseman Adam Kennedy on a potential double-play grounder to drive in Oakland's fourth run.
The left-hander made his first nine appearances this season in relief, allowing two runs over 12 2/3 innings, and got a chance to start when Harden was placed on the disabled list Friday because of a lower back strain.
Vladimir Guerrero chased Halsey in the sixth with his seventh homer, a two-run shot that narrowed the gap to 4-3.
Lackey (3-2) was charged with four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings and struck out six, after giving up no more than two earned runs in any of his previous four starts.
The right-hander, who came in 6-1 lifetime against Oakland, hit Mark Ellis with an 0-2 pitch to open the game. Nick Swisher followed with a single and Chavez drove a 3-2 pitch deep into the right-field porch for his 10th homer of the season and first in 32 career at-bats against Lackey.
Chavez, only the seventh player to hit 200 homers in the franchise's 106-year history, didn't reach double figures last season until his 62nd game on June 12.
Ellis was plunked a second time in the ninth by J.C. Romero, loading the bases, and Swisher followed with a sacrifice fly. Frank Thomas singled in two runs and Crosby capped the six-run inning with a three-run homer.
Scioscia was ejected by plate umpire Dale Scott in the bottom half for arguing from the dugout after Robb Quinlan was hit by an 0-2 pitch from Chad Gaudin with two out. Scioscia was complaining that Gaudin was not ejected for throwing at Quinlan.
- Ellis needs two homers to equal Dave Collins' record for players born in South Dakota (32). Angels CF Darin Erstad has 114 career home runs, the most by any major leaguer born in North Dakota. "My record is going to be broken by Travis Hafner pretty quickly," said Erstad, who is still 31 ahead of the Cleveland Indians' first baseman.
- Oakland OF Jay Payton has 73 plate appearances this season with no walks and just two RBI.
- Chavez and Swisher have combined for 20 home runs and 48 RBI.
- Swisher has reached base either with a hit or a walk in 21 straight games.