Miguel Sano ejected for throwing punch during melee between Tigers and Twins

A fracas broke out in Minneapolis on Saturday, and it wasn’t at the St. Louis Blues-Minnesota Wild NHL playoff game at the Target Center.

Twins third baseman Miguel Sano and Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd were both ejected during the fifth inning moments after Sano took exception to having a pitch thrown behind him.

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Sano immediately pointed at Boyd, then threw what umpire Mike Everitt deemed to be a punch at catcher James McCann as he attempted to get between the heated combatants.

Miguel Sano (right) of the Twins and James McCann of the Tigers clash during Saturday's game at Target Field. (Getty Images)
Miguel Sano (R) of the Twins and James McCann of the Tigers clash during Saturday’s game at Target Field. (Getty Images)

Within moments, both benches emptied onto the field. Fortunately, the situation was calmed down without any further incident. Still, Sano could have to answer for his punch, or perhaps what would more aptly be described as a forearm shiver, which will likely be viewed as an aggressive action that led to tensions escalating.

McCann did get his glove up in Sano’s face, so there will be a lot to sort out when the league looks at this one again.

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Here’s how McCann saw it:

Earlier in the game, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was forced to leave after being hit in the face by a 90 mph fastball from Twins hurler Justin Haley:

The umpires viewed Boyd’s pitch as payback for the pitch that hit Jones.

It’s pretty clear Sano saw it the same way.


Haley’s earlier pitch was clearly not intentional, but sometimes teams like to send messages anyway when one of their players has been injured. If Boyd’s pitch is deemed intentional by the league, he’ll definitely face a fine and suspension.

Fortunately, no one was injured during this specific incident. We’re still awaiting official word on Jones’ condition.

The Tigers went on to win the game 5-4 with a James McCann sacrifice fly holding up as the winning run.


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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!