Two HBPs after HR anger Yanks: 'It's stupid'

Voit, Sanchez plunked in 6th inning after LeMahieu's game-tying shot

May 12th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- Whatever bad blood exists between the Yankees and Rays began to simmer again on Saturday night, when Tampa Bay reliever struck a pair of New York hitters with pitches in the sixth inning of the Rays' 7-2 win at Tropicana Field.

Asked if he felt the HBPs -- the first of which immediately followed 's game-tying homer -- were intentional, Yankees starter didn't mince words.

"Well, yeah," he said. "I mean, what are you doing? You know, like, let's go. We don't want to get into that again. We did that last year."

had barely taken Chirinos' pitch to the left shoulder when an obviously irate Sabathia appeared at the dugout rail, jawing at the field. Brett Gardner grounded into a double play next, before was hit with the fourth pitch of his at-bat.

On Sunday, Chirinos said he was just focused on keeping the game tied at 2 in the sixth inning and wasn't paying much attention to Sabathia or anyone else in the Yankees dugout.

"The game was tied and I didn't want to lose my focus after that," Chirinos said Sunday, in Spanish. "Maybe they thought it was because of what happened last year. But no, it definitely wasn't intentional."

Neither player was injured seriously, but a chorus of boos echoed across the sellout crowd of 25,025, and TV cameras in New York's dugout showed the Yankees were clearly displeased.

"I'm not saying he was or he wasn't [trying to hit me]," Voit said. "He can hit me anywhere else, it's just when it's up and in, it's a sketchy situation that can be career-ending.

"Especially after giving up the home run, he's probably frustrated and trying to throw as hard as he could and it got away. That's why I was so [ticked] off."

Gleyber Torres was also struck by a pitch, Friday in the eighth inning of New York's series-opening win. Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged the dugout was fired up during Saturday's exchange, but said he didn't think the opponent had much to do with it.

"We've had a lot of guys hit," Boone said. "When you see your brothers get knocked around, you don't like it. I don't necessarily think we were more agitated [because it was the Rays]."

Tension between the Yankees and Rays is far-reaching, but prior to this weekend's series, a recent incident rekindled the rivalry at the end of last season. Sabathia received a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing at then-Rays catcher Jesus Sucre in the sixth inning of New York's 12-1 win on Sept. 27. Sabathia was provoked in the top of the same frame when Andrew Kittredge buzzed Austin Romine, potentially in retaliation for Sabathia hitting Jake Bauers with a pitch the inning before.

Where Kittredge's plunking prompted umpire warnings to both teams, the Sucre HBP earned Sabathia an ejection and eventually a suspension, which he served during the first five games of this season.

"It's the same thing," Sabathia said Saturday. "We hit a home run, and they throw up and in. It's stupid."