Those are some inflammatory words.
A heated altercation nearly erupted during the Astros vs. Mariners matchup on Wednesday night. According to one Seattle player, the conflict was ignited when Houston pitcher Hector Neris directed a homophobic slur at Julio Rodriguez.
The tense moment on the baseball field unfolded during the sixth inning of a crucial game between the Astros and the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. After Neris struck out Rodriguez with a breaking ball, the reliever’s exuberance led him to charge toward the Seattle superstar.
Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suarez reportedly alleged that Neris yelled an anti-gay epithet at Rodriguez, triggering the clearing of both teams’ benches.
“He started talking bad words in Spanish,” Suarez said, according to Jude. “He started doing something that is not good for people who speak Spanish and understand. I was in the on-deck circle and I heard that. That pissed me off.”
Players from both teams rushed onto the field to defend their teammates. Fortunately, there were no physical altercations, and rationality ultimately prevailed.
Neris downplayed the incident when speaking to reporters after the game, stating, “He’s my friend.” However, Rodriguez did not provide any comments on the matter. As of now, Major League Baseball has not made any official statements regarding Suarez’s accusations.
Regarding the game’s outcome, the Astros secured an 8-3 victory, maintaining their position ahead of the Mariners in the race for the third and last American League Wild Card spot.