MLB

Blue Jays, Royals series ends on sour note

The Toronto Blue Jays have loaded up for a potential playoff run and also suddenly have a new-found rival in the Kansas City Royals. Both teams' benches cleared during a 5-2 Toronto win on Sunday.

Head-hunting, chirping, clearing of benches highlight finale

Benches clear in emotional Jays-Royals series finale

6 years ago
3:29
Toronto's Josh Donaldson was the target of Kansas City pitchers all game, but it was Aaron Sanchez pitch that hit Alcides Escobar that cleared the benches in Toronto's 5-2 win over the Royals on Sunday. 3:29

The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals don't seem to like each other very much.

Or maybe the Royals just woke up on Sunday and decided they don't like the Jays.

The reason is anyone's guess, but it made for an especially hostile game between the defending AL champions and a Blue Jays team that is going all-in for a playoff run.

Royals starter Edinson Volquez set the tone early when he plunked Josh Donaldson and then tossed some chin music at the Jays' all-star third baseman the next time through the order. 

Although Volquez was warned after the first incident, home-plate umpire Jim Wolf looked the other way when Volquez went at Donaldson again, leaving the frustrated third baseman looking for answers. 

But the Royals weren't done with their poor sportsmanship — or attempt at intimidation, depending on how you look at it.

Kansas City reliever Ryan Madson hit newly acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and again Wolf did not take action.

The next batter at the plate was none other than Donaldson, who with the help of Madson completed the rare hat trick of being apparently thrown at three times in one game.

Jays manager John Gibbons came out to defend his player and was tossed by Wolf after an exchange of words.

However, it didn't stop there.

To the bewilderment of many Jays fans, reliever Aaron Sanchez was ejected after hitting Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar — on his lower leg.

At this point, no one was angrier than an exasperated Donaldson. The obligatory clearing of the benches ensued, which even Gibbons, who had already been sent off, couldn't resist. 

Royals manager Ned Yost defended his team's approach and was also complimentary of the officiating crew, specifically the decision to eject Sanchez.

Jose Bautista? Not impressed.

But R.A. Dickey knows that winning is fun.

The bottom line though is that the Jays won 5-2, took three of four games in the set, and showed they are a team that won't be pushed around.

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