A home-plate collision between Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos led to a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams on Wednesday night. In the bottom of the third inning, Kemp was attempting to score from second base on a single to left field. The throw from Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara was on the money and Kemp was out by a mile.
Instead of conceding he was out and letting Chirinos tag him, Kemp lowered his shoulder and barreled into the catcher at full speed, trying to knock the ball out of his glove. The collision at home plate upset Chirinos, who managed to hold onto the ball, and he told Kemp he was not happy, giving him a shove. Kemp shoved Chirinos back and the benches emptied.
No punches were thrown during the scrum, but Kemp and Chirinos were both ejected from the game.
"I didn't know he was going to come after me like that," Chirinos said after the Dodgers won 3-2 in extra innings. "I got mad when Kemp got up, and he leaned into me and put his shoulder into me. That's when I rushed him. Everyone knows the rule; they preach it to us in spring training. It was emotional.''
Kemp attempted to downplay the incident following the Dodgers thrilling victory, explaining that it was just "two guys shoving each other, and it's over."
Kemp pointed out the new rule that attempts to decrease dangerous collisions at home plate is confusing to players.
"I think it's unclear to everybody. [Chirinos] was blocking the plate. I don't know the rule. I don't even know how it works. I didn't have a clear path to slide. All I could really think about when I saw him blocking the plate was Washington when I slid into home and messed up my ankle. I didn't want to do that again.''
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