Josh Beckett, Two Others Ejected After Red Sox-Indians Scuffle
Cleveland's Jensen Lewis and third base coach Steve Smith also were booted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Lewis threw behind Boston's Adrian Beltre, prompting the benches to empty and Beckett to get in the face of Cleveland reserve outfielder Shelley Duncan -- a mismatch in name recognition, at the very least. There was pushing and shoving, but no punches were thrown.
The Indians were upset at Beckett, who hit Duncan and Shin Soo-Choo earlier in the game. Cleveland made several attempts at brushing back Boston's hitters -- including one high and tight to David Ortiz in the seventh -- with tempers finally boiling over in the eighth.
"That's part of the game. The players usually take care of their own thing and probably some of our guys probably felt that our best player was hit on purpose and they were probably trying to protect the guy," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "There's no room in the game for any of that kind of stuff, but they usually work it out themselves. A lot of pushing and shoving, some tough guys trying to find other guys but nothing major."
A mild-mannered skipper and Boston's steady hand, Francona flashed a temper in the middle of the scrum, exchanging words with Smith before order was restored.
Beckett allowed one run and three hits in eight strong innings. If he hadn't been ejected, he would not have pitched the ninth anyway, Francona said.
Information from the Associated Press used in this report.