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Benches clear in Orioles-Blue Jays game after Alek Manoah plunks Maikel Franco following back-to-back homers

Toronto Blue Jays rookie starter Alek Manoah was ejected in the fourth inning of Saturday’s 10-7 win over the Orioles after allowing back-to-back home runs to Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart then hitting third baseman Maikel Franco with a pitch.

The hit-by-pitch prompted the benches to clear at Camden Yards and required players and coaches from both sides to be separated.

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, who initially held back his players, led by infielder Freddy Galvis and catcher Pedro Severino, from charging Manoah, had his mood change after he appeared to be provoked by Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.

“We were getting our team back, and then there was something said that I didn’t appreciate,” Hyde said. “So, that’s what happened. Then, we calmed down and went back to the dugout.”

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (18) talks with home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz, center left, as members of the Orioles and Blue Jays engage in a benches-clearing argument after Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah hit Orioles third baseman Maikel Franco with a pitch during the fourth inning Saturday in Baltimore. The hit-by-pitch came after Manoah gave up back-to-back home runs to the Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (18) talks with home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz, center left, as members of the Orioles and Blue Jays engage in a benches-clearing argument after Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah hit Orioles third baseman Maikel Franco with a pitch during the fourth inning Saturday in Baltimore. The hit-by-pitch came after Manoah gave up back-to-back home runs to the Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart. (Julio Cortez/AP)

In Hyde’s view, the pitch that hit Franco was intentional. Montoyo didn’t seem to have much to argue once the umpires convened and decided to eject Manoah.

“Easy: They told me he threw at the guy on purpose,” he said with a laugh on his postgame video call. “It was that simple.”

Speaking Sunday morning, Hyde said he and Montoyo have not spoken about the incident, while Franco said his displeasure largely stemmed from how close Manoah’s pitch was to his face.

“It shouldn’t be like that,” he said. “If we hit back-to-back homers, as the Blue Jays, the only thing you have to say is make an adjustment, make a good pitch.”

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Manoah said after the game that the umpires told him it was “bad timing.”

“I tried to get that fastball in, it slipped away, and I was kind of just confused as his reaction and things like that, kind of just questioning, ‘What’s going on, what’s wrong?’” Manoah said. “Those were my hand gestures as I was walking towards him. I was kind of trying to figure out what was going on. Didn’t understand the frustration there.”

On the Orioles’ side, there was less ambiguity as to what happened.

“I don’t know whether he’s trying to do it intentionally or not, I can’t say,” Mountcastle said. “But after he’s given up, whatever, four or five homers he did, and for him to hit Maikel there, it’s sort of a red flag.”

The fracas itself didn’t involve any punches, but several spells of shouting. After Hyde seemed to have calmed the situation down, he and coach Fredi González were held back from Montoyo after the Blue Jays manager made a comment.

At one point, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. picked up Galvis to pull him away from the scrum.

Once everyone said their piece, the teams returned to their dugouts, and the umpires issued a warning to both dugouts. After a discussion near the mound, Manoah was ejected.

The Orioles led 5-2, hitting four home runs off Manoah before he was tossed. Mountcastle hit two, with Cedric Mullins having tied the game in the third inning with his third home run in two nights. Each added another homer, giving the Orioles six and a 7-4 lead before the bullpen unraveled by allowing six runs in the ninth.

Franco was the third Baltimore batter in the first two games of this series to be hit by a pitch after both Mullins and Trey Mancini were hit in Friday night’s 7-1 Orioles victory. The Orioles have been hit by a pitch six times in their previous four games.

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