Manny Machado, Rick Porcello downplay rift after Orioles, Red Sox players exchange words

Much is at stake for both the Orioles and the Boston Red Sox during this week's four-game series, so it's understandable that fuses were a little short on Monday.

Players exchanged words, and umpire Tim Timmons took a lot of heat from both benches after Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello hit third baseman Manny Machado, and Orioles right-hander Tyler Wilson hit Boston slugger David Ortiz.


When Porcello hit Machado, the Orioles' third baseman had words with the opposing pitcher on his way up the first-base line. Ortiz took it in stride when he was hit on the leg, but the Red Sox bench, including manager John Farrell and Porcello, barked at Timmons.

After the game, both sides downplayed the displays as heat-of-the-moment things, not the sign of anything further boiling beneath the surface.

"It's September baseball," Porcello said. "Obviously, emotions are running high. Nobody wants to get hit by a pitch, that's why I completely understand. I wouldn't like it if I was up there and I got hit. At the same time, there's absolutely no reason why I would hit him right there, especially with Mark Trumbo standing on deck. I mean, he's hitting missiles all over the ballpark off me. So I don't want to face him in a 2-0 game, especially when I got a perfect game going."

Machado, with a bit of time to cool off, echoed that sentiment.

"We all know what these games are meant to be," Machado said. "It's part of the game. We're all trying to make the postseason. Every game counts. I know he doesn't want to hit me in that situation, with the power that we have behind me. I got hit, I went to first base, and nothing happened."

Manager Buck Showalter sympathized with Machado, and batters in general when they're hit by a pitch.

"Well, first of all, in the American League, it's very easy to say, 'Oh, he wasn't throwing at him,' but pitchers don't have to wear that," Showalter said. "It hurts, OK? You all go stand in there and hammer a ball off your foot, or get hit in the rib cage or wherever. There's an initial reaction. Manny understands, but it's not 'que sera sera.' You're happy about everything. Go on with the game. Tim did what he felt like he needed to do. Just like Tyler wasn't throwing at anybody. I understand where they were coming from. But it's another thing about, I think, if pitchers had a feel for how that feels … Obviously, he's not doing that with [Trumbo] and the guys hitting behind him, but I can understand Manny's reaction."

The frequency of matchups between division rivals, whether it's the Red Sox and Orioles, the Orioles and the Blue Jays, or really any of the combinations, means there's plenty of history between them all.

While this year's versions of the Red Sox and Orioles don't have a ton of outward animosity toward each other, the stakes of these games could make even the smallest slight seem bigger.

That's why when, as Machado said, two people "talking like human beings" might be construed as more. The teams meet three more times, with the stakes only getting higher for the Orioles.