HOUSTON, TX— Benches cleared after a strikeout during the series opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros on Tuesday, July 28.

The Astros hosted the Dodgers during the LA team’s first road game since the beginning of the shortened 2020 season. The game started out with no score up until the second inning when Carlos Correa homered and managed to get the Astros on the board. Correa was not done yet as evident by his single in the fourth inning, which brought in Michael Brantley to score.

However, the boys in blue answered back with not 1 but 5 runs in the fifth inning, brought in by walks, singles, and even a throwing error by the Astros’ third baseman, Alex Bregman.

Baseball fans, Dodger fans in particular, clearly remember prior to COVID-19 becoming this year’s main topic of conversation, the big news surrounded the Astros organization being fined and punished in other ways after a sign-stealing scandal erupted and was investigated by MLB. The sign-stealing occurred during the 2017 World Series between the Astros and the Dodgers. An investigation by MLB concluded that the Astros had used many ways to tip off their players as to which pitches were headed their way, making it easier for them to score more runs.

It appeared that tension remained present during this game as Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly stepped on the mound in the sixth inning and threw a 3-0 fastball behind Bregman, leading Bregman to crouch to avoid getting hit. Kelly ended the inning by striking out Correa, and on his walk back to the dugout, appeared to begin taunting the Astros player with words and a facial gesture directed at Correa. Benches cleared on both teams but the situation was handled and defused before it escalated. 

Initially both teams were not scheduled to play this season, but after the schedules were changed due to the shortened 60 game season in response to COVID-19, the two teams were able to meet again since the cheating scandal was addressed earlier this year.

The Astros will host the Dodgers again this Wednesday, July 29 and will play again in Los Angeles on September 12 and 13.

As a result of this incident, Kelly received an 8 game suspension, which he will appeal, and Dodgers’ Manager, Dave Roberts, received a one game suspension.