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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:12 p.m., Sunday, July 8, 2007

MLB: Benches cleared after Blanton shoves Ichiro

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics starter Joe Blanton was ejected in the seventh inning of today's game against the Seattle Mariners after shoving Ichiro Suzuki, clearing both benches.

After Raul Ibanez hit a bases-clearing double, the relay throw from shortstop Bobby Crosby got by A's catcher Jason Kendall. As Blanton tried to retrieve the ball near the Seattle dugout, he shoved Suzuki, who had scored on the play.

Mariners outfielder Jason Ellison, the closest player to the incident, took exception and went after Blanton, and the dugouts cleared.

"I thought I was right in what I did," Ellison said. "Ichiro doesn't bother anyone and he shouldn't be pushed. (Blanton) said something he shouldn't have and that fired me up."

Mariners pitcher Miguel Batista was an innocent bystander until he was ejected, the only other player to be excused.

"The umpire said he saw someone jump the fence (near the dugout) and when I looked over the only guy I saw was Batista," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "The umpires told me Ichiro would get tossed unless I could tell them who jumped the fence. Batista was standing there and I wasn't going to let Ichiro get ejected. I know Batista took exception to that."

Both sides remained heated for several minutes, with Blanton exchanging words with Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez.

"At that point I lost my temper," Blanton said. "When you lose your temper sometimes you don't really think about what you do. That's just the way it goes. It's over now. It's not that big of a deal."

Santiago Casilla replaced Blanton.

The three-run double by Ibanez gave Seattle a 5-3 lead, and the Mariners went on to win 7-3.