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Benches clear as Angels, Red Sox argue over pitch

The Los Angeles Angels' Bobby Abreu (center) is held back by Boston Red Sox's catcher Mike Napoli after the Sox's starting pitcher, Josh Beckett (left), threw over Abreu's head on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

The Los Angeles Angels' Bobby Abreu (center) is held back by Boston Red Sox's catcher Mike Napoli after the Sox's starting pitcher, Josh Beckett (left), threw over Abreu's head on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – At the beginning of the three-game series, the Boston Red Sox lined up on opposite foul lines with the Los Angeles Angels in solidarity as the grieving home team observed a moment of silence in honor of rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart.

The mood in Sunday’s finale was in sharp contrast. The teams who met in three of the last five AL Division Series put the good will aside after an angry reaction from Bobby Abreu to a pitch by Boston ace Josh Beckett that sailed over his head triggered a bench-clearing incident.

Abreu later hit a go-ahead two-run single against Beckett, and Vladimir Guerrero hit his first home run of the season to help Dustin Moseley and the Angels beat the Red Sox 5-4.

“I’ve never hit anybody in the head, and it’s not really on my list of stuff to accomplish. But people can think what they want to think,” Beckett said. “I know Bobby Abreu. He knows I’m not trying to hit him in the head. Obviously, there’s been a lot of emotion in this series with them – not only facing us, but obviously the tragedy that all of them went through.”

The Angels won Friday’s series opener, their first game after the 22-year-old Adenhart was killed early Thursday along with two friends when the car they were in was broadsided by a van driven by a suspected drunken driver.

In the first inning Sunday, Beckett was in the stretch position for what seemed like an eternity while getting the sign he wanted from catcher Jason Varitek. He came toward the plate with a fastball just as plate umpire Paul Schreiber jumped out to call time.

“He took too long delivering the ball, so Abreu called time – which is normal,” second base umpire and crew chief Joe West said. “Did he throw it up and in? Yeah. Do we believe he threw it at Abreu? No. Would we have warned him had both benches not emptied? Probably not. But because both benches emptied, we did issue a warning.”

Abreu said something to Beckett and was held back by Schreiber, then both dugouts and bullpens emptied – but no punches were thrown.

White Sox 6, Twins 1: At Chicago, Jim Thome hit a two-run homer.

Indians 8, Blue Jays 4: At Cleveland, Anthony Reyes pitched six strong innings.

Rays 11, Orioles 3: At Baltimore, James Shields pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and Evan Longoria hit his major league-leading fifth home run.

Mariners 1, Athletics 0: At Oakland, Erik Bedard allowed three hits pitching into the ninth inning .

Royals 6, Yankees 4: At Kansas City, John Buck homered and drove in three runs, helping Kansas City rally to avoid a three-game sweep.

Tigers 6, Rangers 4: At Detroit, Brandon Inge homered and hit a two-run single.

NL: Johnson outpitches Santana

MIAMI – Josh Johnson’s dominant outing was just enough to beat Johan Santana.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter for his second complete game in 45 career starts and the Florida Marlins scored two unearned runs to edge Santana and the Mets 2-1 Sunday, handing the New York ace his first loss since June 28.

Reds 2, Pirates 0: At Cincinnati, Aaron Harang threw a three-hitter.

Cardinals 3, Astros 0: At St. Louis, Kyle Lohse threw a career-best three-hitter.

Padres 6, Giants 1: At San Diego, Chris Young pitched seven strong innings to beat Tim Lincecum.

Braves 8, Nationals 5: At Atlanta, Chipper Jones drove in two runs, including a tiebreaking single.

Phillies 7, Rockies 5: At Denver, pinch-hitter Matt Stairs connected for a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth.

Cubs 8, Brewers 5: At Milwaukee, Alfonso Soriano smacked the first pitch of the game off the facade in center field for a leadoff home run.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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