Advertisement

 CLEVELAND (AP) -First, Josh Beckett's ex-girlfriend showed up. Sure enough, the Boston ace got into an argument - with Kenny Lofton.
Beckett took exception to Lofton's antics at the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning of Game 5 of the AL championship series Thursday night, screaming at him and prompting both benches and bullpens to clear. No punches were thrown and nobody was ejected, and both teams left the field after a few minutes of milling about.
Beckett stayed sharp after the brief skirmish, limiting the Cleveland Indians to one run over eight innings in Boston's 7-1 victory.
Pitching keep the Red Sox alive, Beckett was thrown a curveball before the game even started. The Cleveland Indians enlisted country singer and Ohio native Danielle Peck to sing the national anthem and ``God Bless America.''
No big deal - except Peck used to date Beckett. There's even a picture of her wearing a Red Sox T-shirt and hat on her Web site.
``An incredible coincidence,'' Indians vice president Bob DiBiasio said. ``Honestly.''
Peck was simply filling in for Taylor Swift, another country star who was originally scheduled to handle the singing duties.
``(Peck's) record company called and said she's got Ohio ties and we said, 'Perfect,''' DiBiasio said.
Beckett was nowhere to be seen when Peck - dressed in neutrally dark clothes, with no logos from either team in sight - did the anthem. He was on the field when she sang ``God Bless America,'' but he had his back to her as he saluted the flag, and didn't look at home plate after she finished.
If her presence bothered him, he didn't let on. He saved his outburst for Lofton.
The Indians hitter has been flipping his bat for years when he draws a walk. He did it on a 3-0 pitch from Beckett in the bottom of the fifth, apparently thinking he'd taken ball four.
Not so fast, plate umpire Gary Cederstrom said, calling a strike.
Lofton hit a fly ball to left on the 3-1 pitch, and Beckett began screaming at him as soon as the ball left his bat. Beckett continued screaming as Lofton ran to first, and the hitter began to head toward the mound after he was called out.
But several Red Sox infielders immediately moved in to keep the two apart, and players on both benches and in the bullpens soon joined them.
Beckett and Lofton got into a similar argument during a game in 2005. Lofton, then with the Phillies, dropped his bat at home plate after Beckett walked him. He stopped halfway up the baseline after an agitated Beckett, pitching for the Marlins, appeared to say something in his direction. Both benches cleared, but no punches were thrown and no one was ejected.
This isn't the first dustup between the two teams in the ALCS, either. Several Indians were miffed after Manny Ramirez paused at first base to admire his long solo home run in Game 4 on Tuesday night. Ramirez, a former Indian, insisted he wasn't trying to show anybody up.
Advertisement

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Marlins can't slow down scorching Cardinals Jaime Garcia’s on pace to make his most starts in a single campaign since 2011. Still, that doesn’t mean the 3_-year-old is enamored with his 2016 body of work...
Thumbnail Astros stand in path of Tigers' fifth straight W Justin Verlander may or may not have stepped into a time machine. Either way, Detroit loves the vintage form it’s seeing from the venerable...
Thumbnail Red Sox vs. Angels Prediction Can the Angels pull off the upset tonight when they host the Red Sox at 9:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Royals vs. Rangers Free Pick The Royals continue to scuffle but can they pull off the upset tonight in Texas when they visit the Rangers at 8:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Smyly, Rays could push Yanks into 2017 mode After a stretch that saw them claim eight of 10 games, the Yankees have dropped two in a row. Can Joe Girardi’s crew recover in time for today’s showdown vs....
More inMLB Articles  
Advertisement

MLB Team Pages