NEW YORK – Yankees star Jorge Posada and Toronto reliever Jesse Carlson got into a fight near home plate, leading to a frenzied, bench-clearing brawl during the Blue Jays' 10-4 victory over New York on Tuesday night.
Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and All-Star second baseman Aaron Hill were hit by pitches before Carlson threw behind Posada in the eighth. Posada glared out at the mound and appeared to say, "You don't want to do that."
Carlson motioned toward Posada as the benches and bullpens emptied, though the teams never got close to each other and order was quickly restored. Johnny Damon and manager Joe Girardi aggressively pulled teammates away, aware any suspensions could be costly to the Yankees as they close in on a playoff berth.
Moments later, a nasty rumble broke out.
After scoring on Brett Gardner's double, Posada brushed Carlson, who was on his way to back up the plate. Home plate umpire Jim Joyce promptly ejected Posada as Carlson shouted curses at the star catcher.
Posada spun around, sidestepped Joyce and came back at Carlson, who took a high swing with a punch that missed. The two wrestled to the ground as the benches and bullpens emptied and other scuffles broke out between home plate and the New York dugout.
Blue Jays catcher Rod Barajas and Yankees reserve Shelley Duncan got in a particularly rough scrap.
When things finally settled down, there was catching equipment strewn all over the field behind home plate. New York pitchers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte escorted Posada into the dugout.
Carlson, also ejected, was left with a large red bump on the left side of his forehead.
The game was interrupted for about 10 minutes. When play resumed, there were only three umpires on the field. Third base ump and crew chief Derryl Cousins was missing — it wasn't immediately clear if he got hurt during the fight.
Earlier on, Roy Halladay stymied the Yankees as usual and rookie Travis Snider hit two of Toronto's five homers. New York's lead in the AL East was cut to 6 1/2 games over Boston, which beat the Los Angeles Angels.
Adam Lind and Encarnacion also connected off Yankees starter Sergio Mitre, helping Toronto win for only the fourth time in 16 road games.
The Blue Jays are 6-11 against New York this season, with three of those victories belonging to Halladay (15-9). The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed two runs in six rocky innings, improving to 18-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 37 career games (35 starts) against the Yankees.
The Blue Jays said his .750 winning percentage is second only to Babe Ruth (17-5, .773) among pitchers with at least 20 decisions against New York, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Even when they hit him, the Yankees can't seem to beat him. Halladay was touched up for 11 hits, his most ever against New York, according to STATS LLC.
In fact, every Yankees starter had a hit by the sixth, but they stranded eight runners against a gritty Halladay, who pitched a one-hit shutout against New York in Toronto on Sept. 4.
Damon grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners in the second, and a gimpy Alex Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Jose Bautista on Hideki Matsui's third-inning single.
Mitre (3-3) was charged with seven runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. The four homers he served up were a career high.
Four of Mitre's nine starts with the Yankees this season have come against Toronto. He is 0-3 with a 10.61 ERA in those games.
NOTES: Girardi said RHP Joba Chamberlain will be "a full-fledged starter" by the end of the season. New York has pulled Chamberlain early in his last few outings to limit his 2009 workload. ... New York had won 28 of 36 against division foes. ... It was Posada's fifth career ejection and first since Aug. 24, 2007. ... Lind and Encarnacion also homered Monday in Detroit. ... Pettitte's next turn in the rotation will be skipped because the left-hander has a tired pitching shoulder. Pettitte was slated to start Wednesday night against Toronto. Instead, Chad Gaudin will get the ball and Pettitte will be pushed back to Monday night at the Los Angeles Angels. ... It was Snider's second career multihomer game. The other one came on April 13 at Minnesota.