Tampa Bay Rays, Red Sox Get Testy in Fight for First

Things are getting more heated in the American League East.

The first-place Boston Red Sox are fighting the Tampa Bay Rays — and each other.

Manny Ramirez homered, drove in five runs and got into a shouting match with a teammate as Boston beat Tampa Bay 7-1 Thursday night in a game that included a bench-clearing brawl between the clubs.

Jason Giambi and the Yankees also showed some fight as he hit a two-out, two-run pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the ninth as New York rallied from a five-run deficit for a 9-8 victory over Toronto.

Click here to watch the bench-clearing brawl.

In Boston, TV cameras showed Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis being separated after exchanging words in the dugout at the end of the fourth inning. Ramirez pointed at Youkilis before being escorted down the runway toward the clubhouse by trainer Paul Lessard and a few players.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona felt emotions were still running hot after the earlier brawl.

Click here for photos of the bench-clearing brawl.

"I think they were just exchanging some views on things," he said, trying to downplay his players' near altercation. "It was kind of a hectic night. Sometimes those things happen. It wasn't really a big deal; it won't be a big deal."

In other AL games, it was: Baltimore 3, Minnesota 2; Texas 9, Cleveland 4; and Chicago 6, Kansas City 2.

The Red Sox posted their 13th straight home win, matching the majors' longest streak in nearly two years, and completed their second three-game sweep of the Rays in a little more than a month.

The fight on the field started after Boston's Coco Crisp was hit on the right hip by a second-inning pitch from James Shields. Crisp dropped his bat, charged the mound and ducked a wild right by Shields before throwing a few punches.

Crisp was tackled to the ground by Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro. Rays designated hitter Jonny Gomes charged the mound from the dugout, jumped on Navarro and Crisp, and threw several punches that hit Crisp while he was on the ground.

Crisp, who had a scratch on his forehead and right cheek, was most upset with what happened under the pile.

"I charged the mound. [Shields] tried to hit me with a punch," Crisp said. "I'm not upset at all. We fought. That's all it is. There were some cheap shots there. [Carl] Crawford came sliding in. I don't know why he was pulling hair, scratching. After that it was three, four guys on one."

Crisp, Shields and Gomes were ejected.

"It's simple," Gomes said, when asked what he was doing when he got to the mound. "I'm just going out there for my pitcher's defense."

As for the dugout incident, Dustin Pedroia and Crisp both said they didn't know what happened.

"I really didn't see it," Pedroia said. "I was running out onto the field. We're around each other a lot, but we love each other. We're a team."