Things between the AL East rival Yankees and Rays got heated Tuesday night. Aroldis Chapman threw a pitch -- a 101 mph fastball -- over Mike Brosseau's head in the ninth inning, prompting the benches to empty once the final out was recorded. Chapman has been suspended three games but is appealing the ban. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was suspended one game as well.
''It's absolutely ridiculous. It was mishandled by the Yankees. Certainly the pitcher on the mound. It was mishandled by the umpires,". ''Somebody has to be accountable. The last thing I'll say on it is I got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph. Period.''
The Rays and Brosseau got revenge the best possible way in Wednesday night's season series finale. They put four runs on the board before recording an out and chased Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery in the first inning (TB 5, NY 2). Brosseau launched a two-run homer against Montgomery and added a solo shot later in the game.
"It was emotional. A lot of us had tears in our eyes. A special moment he'll never forget," Rays bench coach Mike Quatraro told reporters, including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, following the game. Quatraro managed the Rays on Wednesday because Cash was suspended one game for his comments Tuesday.
Chapman's pitch over Brosseau's head Tuesday did not lead to any fireworks Wednesday. Yankees reliever Ben Heller was ejected for hitting Hunter Renfroe in the hip in the fifth inning, though it didn't appear intentional, and the ejection came only after the umpires got together to talk it out. They decided to take no chances and ejected Heller.
The Rays went 8-2 against the Yankees this season and have a comfortable 4 1/2 game in the AL East. They are 26-12 and their magic number to clinch the division title is down to 20. Any combination of Rays wins or Yankees losses totaling 20 gives Tampa their first division title since 2010.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are 12-14 since their 8-1 start. They're only one game up on the Blue Jays for third place in the AL East. The top three AL East clubs are all in very good position to make the expanded postseason field.