Ian Kinsler drilled his second home run in as many days in the eighth inning of Monday’s game, putting some separation between his Detroit Tigers and the host Baltimore Orioles.
Two pitches later, Orioles starter Bud Norris drilled Torii Hunter in the ribs.
Exception was taken.
So was umbrage.
Benches cleared, as did the bullpens.
Even reading lips, it was clear that Hunter shouted “What the (bleep) you doin’, man?” at Norris, then after the pitcher was ejected, but hung around in the dugout, “I’ll whip your (bleep).”
Hunter had to be restrained by reliever Joba Chamberlain.
"I was actually thinking he was pitching really well, had control all night, and all of a sudden lost it?" Hunter said on the Fox Sports Detroit postgame show. "It's like a pickup basketball game. Two guys, you get a foul, you argue, that's sports. That's baseball. It's just adrenaline going, and once you calm yourself down, you think about the situation, it doesn't make sense. ...
"I got kids in college. I can't be doing that."
It’s much the same situation as last year on June 1, when the Orioles’ Jason Hammel plunked Matt Tuiasosopo high on the left shoulder, after back-to-back-to-back homers by Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila.
Norris has developed a trend of starting things recently, as well, jawing with the Pirates Neil Walker after a hit-by-pitch.
He wasn't happy about the ejection, though.
His reaction kind of stirred the umpire, too, stirred their bench up, too," Norris told reporters, including MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli
. "It's kind of a weird time. Because he says something, I'm immediately tossed?"
The oddest part of the whole situation, though, might be third-base umpire Paul Nauert patting Hunter on the cheek, in what appeared to be an attempt to calm him down. Instead, it appeared to have the opposite effect. See the picture at right.
Hunter after the game told MLive's Chris Iott
"That's my buddy. I've been knowing him too long. He was just trying to, 'Come on, T.'"