DETROIT – Justin Verlander's always good for a few laughs.
Even Thursday, after the Tigers and Yankees got into an all-out brawl, cleared the benches three times and threw several pitches at each other, Verlander had time for a little humor.
The brawl began when Miguel Cabrera threw several punches at Yankees catcher Austin Romine in the middle of an at-bat in the sixth inning. Cabrera was upset about a pitch that was thrown at him, and when Romine took off his catcher's mask, things, well, escalated quickly.
Cabrera probably believed the pitch was thrown at him intentionally because the Tigers plunked Yankees star Gary Sanchez earlier in the game. The hit-by-pitch was fishy because Sanchez had already hit four home runs in the series, including one earlier in the game Thursday.
The dugouts and bullpens spilled out onto the field, where Cabrera and Romine were on the ground, continuing their scuffle. Dozens of players joined the fray near home plate, and multiple ejections followed.
After the umpires broke everyone up, the teams resumed the game, but it was far from over.
The next inning, Tigers catcher James McCann was hit in the head by a 98 mph fastball from Dellin Betances, who was then ejected from the game.
The very next batter was hit by an offspeed pitch. It appeared to be unintentional, but as Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus put it, pitchers have to be able to control their stuff in the big leagues, especially in a game with high tensions.
McCann stayed in the game, and it was well worth it, as he crushed a 433-foot home run in his next at-bat.
Tigers pitcher Alex Wilson would later be ejected for hitting Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier with a pitch, and players spilled onto the field once again, this time more reluctantly.
After one of the on-field scuffles, Verlander and Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez got into a heated argument in the dugout. The two were talking with third baseman Nicholas Castellanos when Verlander gestured emphatically toward Martinez and walked away.
Martinez tried to follow Verlander, but Castellanos held him back.
This still applies:
The Tigers ended up winning the game 10-6 in front of an electric home crowd. They did lose the series, however, as the Yankees took the first two games of the series with ease, winning 13-4 Tuesday and 10-2 Wednesday.
Cabrera was 0-3 with a strikeout in the game. He is having the worst season of his career, slugging just .405 with a below-average .743 OPS.
Austin Romine is the brother of Tigers utility man Andrew Romine.
The Yankees currently hold the top wildcard spot in the American League, while the Tigers are the second-worst team in the AL with a 55-71 record.