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GAME OF THE DAY

Fracas highlights Mariners' victory

July 09, 2007|From the Associated Press

OAKLAND — Jason Ellison stood up for a teammate. Miguel Batista took one for the team. And Ichiro Suzuki? All he could do was laugh about his role in a benches-clearing shoving match.

Ellison started a four-run rally and then touched off the brouhaha in Seattle's 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Ellison, in the starting lineup because of shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's late scratch, had a career-high four hits and scored the tying run in the seventh inning. Jose Lopez had three hits, including his eighth home run, and drove in two runs.

But it's what Ellison did after scoring that will be remembered.

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

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

"I didn't really know how big he was," Ellison said. "If I did I might have thought twice. We were just giving each other high-fives after scoring and all I knew was [Blanton] pushed Ichiro. That's something you just don't do."

Blanton and Batista were ejected.

"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."

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