KANSAS CITY – The benches and bullpens cleared for a second consecutive night at Kauffman Stadium, after Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura hit the A’s Brett Lawrie with a pitch that clearly looked intentional Saturday.
Ventura immediately was ejected after throwing a 1-0 pitch that appeared to get Lawrie on the left elbow. It was apparent retaliation for Friday night, when Lawrie slid hard into second base on a force play and injured Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Both dugouts emptied as soon as Lawrie got hit, though no punches were thrown. Craig Gentry and Ike Davis both yelled demonstratively at Ventura, while former Royal Billy Butler did his best to keep players from both teams separated.
The hit-by-pitch came immediately after Josh Reddick hit a three-run homer off Ventura to give the A’s a 5-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
Yohan Pino came on in relief of Ventura and was given all the time he needed to warm up.
Lawrie claims he texted Escobar after Friday’s game to express his apologies and claim he never meant to hurt him. Escobar insisted Saturday he never got any text from Lawrie and said it was “a dirty slide” by the A’s third baseman.