A volatile series finally turned violent when Adam Kennedy charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Texas’ Scott Feldman, triggering a bench-clearing brawl in the Rangers’ 9-3 victory over the Angels.
The melee came a night after Rangers starter Vicente Padilla was ejected for hitting two Angels with pitches and nearly plunking a third.
And Kennedy was hit an inning after the Angels had two pitchers and manager Mike Scioscia ejected because two Rangers’ hitters were nailed.
Feldman threw his glove down as Kennedy charged the mound and Feldman hit Kennedy in the armpit with a punch.
Rangers third baseman Mark DeRosa sprinted toward the mound and tackled Kennedy as both benches and bullpens emptied. Angels right-hander John Lackey ran from the dugout and had to be restrained from going after Texas players.
The umpires restored order about four minutes later.
Kennedy said he was left with no choice but to go after Feldman.
“All the points had been made,” Kennedy said. “You have a choice to go or not go and I decided to go. You wish it didn’t have to happen that way. It’s unfortunate because there’ll be fines and suspensions.”
Rangers manager Buck Showalter was tossed out for a second straight game. Kennedy and Feldman were also ejected.
Feldman claimed the pitch got away from him.
“With the situation that occurred earlier, I can see why I got tossed for that,” Feldman said. “I was just trying to go inside. …I wasn’t shocked. I looked up and (Kennedy) was coming at me.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Angels reliever Kevin Gregg threw well behind Ian Kinsler, and plate umpire Sam Holbrook warned both dugouts. Gregg and Scioscia were ejected when the next batter, Michael Young, was hit in the back with a pitch.
Gregg, working his fifth inning of the night, said he did not mean to hit Young.
“I was 90 pitches deep on a bum knee,” Gregg said. “I was amped up and I just threw one that got awaay from me.”
“There was no intent,” said Scioscia, who closed the clubhouse for 25 minutes after the game to calm his team and get his players refocused on the AL West race.
“Baseball is baseball,” Donnelly said. “Things have a way of working themselves out.”
Young figured the brawl would result in multiple suspensions.
“I hope they go easy on us,” Young said. “But I doubt they will.”
Eaton (3-2) was back on the mound Wednesday night, but didn’t come close to hitting anyone, during seven strong innings.
Rookie Nelson Cruz hit his first grand slam in an eight-run third inning for the Rangers to back Eaton.
Cruz, acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers along with Carlos Lee in a six-player trade on July 28, hit the Rangers’ eighth grand slam of the season off Gregg. Cruz’s long fly just cleared the left-field wall and stretched the lead to 9-0.
“I was real excited to help the team win,” Cruz said. “I was glad I got the opportunity. This should get me confident.”
Kinsler also homered in the third for the Rangers, who’ve won six of seven.
Angels rookie left-hander Joe Saunders (4-1) was beaten for the first time in his seventh major league start. He had won all four of his starts this season with a 1.67 ERA since being called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 1.
He allowed eight runs and five hits in 2 2-3 innings against Texas. He walked five and struck out one.
Eaton (3-2) allowed two runs and four hits in his fifth start since returning from a torn tendon in his right middle finger that landed him on the disabled list on April 1. He struck out five and walked two on a 101-degree night.
The Rangers matched the 1999 team record for grand slams in a season. … The eight-run third equaled Texas’ biggest inning of the season. … Jose Molina of the Angels had his career-best 12-game hitting streak snapped. … The Rangers sent 12 to the plate in the third. … Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 24 straight road games against the Rangers, every game he’s played at Ameriquest Field.