WATCH: Benches clear in Blue Jays-Royals, Pirates-Reds games

Sunday afternoon brought us not one, but two bench-clearing brawls. At almost the exactly same time as well.

First, things got heated in Toronto between the Blue Jays and Royals. It started early in the game when Edinson Volquez hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch in his first at-bat, then brushed him back in his next at-bat. Aaron Sanchez later threw at Alcides Escobar in apparent retaliation. Here's the video:

Sanchez was thrown out of the game, as were Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and bench coach DeMarlo Hale.

The Royals-Blue Jays series this weekend has been very intense with a postseason-like atmosphere. Four batters were hit with pitches in the first three games of the series, but it's worth noting the Jays did the plunking -- three of those four were Royals, including two Saturday.

Perhaps the Royals were just tired of being thrown at. Or, perhaps, Volquez just let some pitches get away from him. He does have a very long history of being control-challenged, after all. Either way, order was eventually restored on the Blue Jays went on to win the game (TOR 5, KC 2).

Going forward, this one might need to be filed away:

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, things also got testy between the Reds and Pirates. That mess started in the middle innings, when Pedro Villarreal hit Andrew McCutchen, who seems to be a hit-by-pitch magnet. Tony Watson threw at Brandon Phillips later in the game to spark the brawl:

Sean Rodriguez, Joey Votto and Marlon Byrd were all ejected for their roles in the brawl. Also, Mark Melancon accidentally hit Tucker Barnhart with a pitch in the ninth inning -- that was clearly unintentionally, a pitch just got away from him -- and was immediately ejected because the benches had been warned. New Pirate Joakim Soria finished the game off for the save (PIT 3, CIN 0).

Two games with postseason race implications, and here we are talking about the benches clearing. Baseball can be so dumb sometimes.

The benches cleared in Toronto and Cincinnati on Sunday.
The benches cleared in Toronto and Cincinnati on Sunday. ( screengrab)
CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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