The benches cleared during the third inning of the Rangers-Dodgers game Wednesday night in Los Angeles after a collision at home plate.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp trucked Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos at the plate while trying to score from second base on an Kike Hernandez single to right field.
As dugouts and bullpens cleared, players from both sides engaged in shoving bouts and tempers certainly flared, but the kerfuffle was defused before escalating to an all-out brawl. It didn’t appear any punches were thrown.
Both Chirinos and Kemp were ejected.
MLB implemented a new rule in 2014 to outlaw “egregious” collisions at home plate. That rule prohibits a runner from “deviating from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher,” including lowering his shoulder or pushing through with his hands.
It also states that a catcher can’t block the pathway to the plate unless in possession of the ball.
Kemp is likely to be viewed more as the bad guy in this instance (especially in Texas), but Wednesday’s collision was certainly a gray-area play. Kemp extended his forearms to crash into Chirinos – a tactic that was commonly employed to jar the ball loose pre-2014.
Chirinos, though, was in the pathway to the plate as he awaited the arrival of Nomar Mazara’s throw and applied the tag. Kemp was out by a couple steps.
There was no immediate indication whether discipline would be handed down by MLB.
Los Angeles won Wednesday night's game in walkoff fashion, 3-2 in 11 innings. The Rangers and Dodgers meet again August 28-29 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.