TORONTO — On the field, tempers flared between the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, but no punches were thrown.
In the aftermath of the Blue Jays' 5-2 victory Sunday, there were plenty of back-and-forth blows in the war of words that erupted from the clubhouses at Rogers Centre.
Josh Donaldson got plunked in the first inning by Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez, who said the Blue Jays third baseman was "crying like a baby." Home-plate umpire Jim Wolf warned the teams at that point.
"Guys get hit all the time,'' Donaldson said. "You don't see warnings thrown out all the time, but the reason he did it is because he knew just as well as I did, he hit me on purpose. ... He could've thrown him out immediately right there, which I don't want him to do that. I thought he was pretty good hittin', so I don't want him out of there."
Volquez got through six innings, and when Kansas City reliever Ryan Madson hit shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the forearm in the seventh, the Blue Jays thought he should have been gone.
"It's tough to judge intent, we all know that,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Sometimes when you get balls that close, sometimes you've got to say, 'The hell with it, I'm tired of watching it,' things like that. ...
"There were some close calls in the upper-body area. I can understand everybody's frustration."
Donaldson lost his cool when he got buzzed in the next at-bat, which led to Gibbons getting tossed by Wolf, who later declined to talk to a pool reporter.
When Toronto reliever Aaron Sanchez entered the game in the eighth, he said Wolf's words to him were: "Obviously you know the tensions are high, just pitch your game.'' Sanchez got two outs before hitting Alcides Escobar in the knee.
Wolf ejected Sanchez, which the right-hander thought was "crap," infuriating the Blue Jays and sparking a bench-clearing incident that Donaldson believed never had to happen.
"Was it intentional on their part to hit (Escobar)? Absolutely,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They miss him with the first one then came back and hit him again with the second one. I think Jim Wolf did a great job of understanding what was intentional and what wasn't."
Donaldson said there were things in the game that were "mismanaged very poorly," criticizing Wolf. He didn't like that Royals pitchers threw at Blue Jays' players' necks several times.
Yost didn't see it that way.
"They've got tremendous power but they all dive in to the plate, which makes them susceptible to getting hit on inside pitches,'' Yost said. "If you continue to throw them away, away, away, away, you're going to get hammered, you're going to get killed. You have to utilize the inside part of the plate to open up the outside part of the plate, and it happens."
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista responded on Twitter, posting: "Just heard #NedYost comments about the game. Lost a lot of respect for that man today."
Add to that Toronto starter R.A. Dickey comparing the Royals to a school-yard bully, and it's easy to imagine how fun a playoff series between these teams would be.
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