Tuesday night's incident wasn't the first time Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura ignited tension during a game; in fact, the pitcher did so three times in two weeks last April.
Here is a timeline of Ventura's most explosive on-field incidents:
April 12, 2015, at Los Angeles Angels: With one out in the sixth inning and the Royals ahead 7-1, Ventura launched a 96 mph fastball up and in against Angels star Mike Trout. On the next pitch, Trout smacked a 98 mph heater over Ventura's head for a single. Ventura walked slowly toward first, glaring at Trout as he rounded the bag. Trout raised his arms as if to ask what he did wrong.
The next batter, Albert Pujols, doubled to left-center, and when Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain bobbled the ball, Trout scored. As he slid into home, Ventura awaited him after backing up the throw to the plate. When he muttered a few words to Trout, the benches and bullpens cleared. Royals catcher Salvador Perez restrained Ventura, and his teammates together tried to talk the pitcher down. Ventura exited one batter later.
April 18, 2015, vs. Oakland Athletics: Two pitches after A's outfielder Josh Reddick hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, Ventura hit third baseman Brett Lawrie with a 99 mph fastball in the elbow. The pitch appeared to be retalation for the previous night, when Lawrie slid into Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar at second base, spraining Escobar's knee.
Like the Orioles on Tuesday night, Reddick said he knew Ventura's revenge was coming. Home-plate umpire Jim Joyce ejected Ventura immediately. Lawrie dropped the bat and strolled to first base, and Ventura walked slowly toward him before Perez again restrained him and Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer pulled Lawrie aside. The A's won, 5-0.
The anger hadn't worn off the next day. In the first inning, A's starter Scott Kazmir hit Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain with a pitch, and the Royals' manager and pitching coach were ejected after arguing. In the eighth inning, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera threw behind Lawrie, and he, Escobar and bench coach Don Wakamatsu were all ejected in the ensuing quarrel. The benches and bullpens emptied in all three games of the series.
April 23, 2015, at Chicago White Sox: This time, Ventura didn't run a pitch in on White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton, but rather induced a hard comebacker. As soon as he snared it, he started jawing at Eaton before throwing to first base for the out. Once Hosmer caught it, Eaton stopped and turned toward Ventura, returning his chatter. The umpires held back both players, but then more started coming from the benches to join. Tension simmered for a moment before White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija went after Lorenzo Cain, resulting in another prolonged fight.
Five players — Ventura, Cain, Samardzija, Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez and White Sox pitcher Chris Sale — were ejected. The brawl, which happened in the seventh inning, delayed the game almost four minutes.
August 2, 2015, at Toronto Blue Jays: Ventura wasn't a player in this on-field argument — which started when Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez plunked Escobar in the knee in the eighth inning — but he did make another enemy after the game on Twitter.
According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, who had Ventura's Spanish tweets translated, Ventura said to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista: "We'll meet again later and if you do that with me, you'll see what I'm about. I don't care about anybody. I used to respect you, but you're a nobody. … You got lucky this time, but MLB doesn't get canceled after this season. Keep running your mouth. … You need to stop giving signs. You're gonna get it from me for being fresh and you really are a nobody."
Tuesday, at Orioles: Ventura's latest transgression also emptied both benches. The Ventura-Machado conflict began in the second inning, when Machado hit a fly ball to left field and paused to see if it left the ballpark. Ventura had just missed Machado with a pitch in that at-bat, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter warned Machado that he might try again the next time.
The Royals eliminated the Orioles from the 2014 playoffs by winning four straight games by a total of six runs in the American League Championship Series. The two teams play for the final time this season Wednesday night at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman heads to the mound for the Orioles against Volquez.