NEW YORK -- The total package was on display Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez was an offensive force, going 2-for-6 with an RBI double and a three-run homer, but he also was in the middle of a sixth-inning dust-up in which both benches briefly emptied.
Gomez, playing in only his 23rd game with the Astros after coming over in a trade with the Brewers, has a reputation for being an animated player who could take over games with his bat, and he was the man everybody in both clubhouses was talking about after Houston clubbed the Yankees, 15-1.
In the sixth inning, Gomez exchanged words with someone on the Yankees' bench after he flied out to center field in advance of him getting into a shouting match with catcher John Ryan Murphy, causing both benches to empty. Gomez had to be restrained, but later had the last laugh by clubbing his homer in the seventh.
"He's an emotional player," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He continues to compete. It's a tough feeling on the other side, I think, when you have a game like that and it's starting to unravel, but it comes from a good place. Carlos is just trying to compete, and obviously they took exception to a few of the actions. It is what it is. Calmer heads prevailed."
Gomez flipped his bat and gestured emphatically after sliding into second base on a first-inning double. After he flied out in the sixth, he slammed his bat and appeared to yell at himself before he was seen on television saying "Shut up" several times toward the Yankees' dugout as he walked back to the Astros' dugout.
"That's the way he plays, he's an energetic guy, everybody knows that, and we respect him as a baseball player," said Murphy. "Just, there's a right and a wrong way to play the game. ... Just staring into the dugout, I don't think --- none of that's called for. "
It wasn't clear who was yelling at Gomez, but he has a combative history with catcher Brian McCann, who was on the bench. McCann confronted Gomez during a home run trot in 2013, inciting a fracas. McCann was with the Braves, and Gomez with the Brewers.
"I think I respect the players enough and I've been long enough in the league so they know who I am," Gomez said. "And if you're screaming at me, I'm going to scream at you back. It's not on me to disrespect anybody. It's like, you know, be passionate, be competitive. It's early in the game. We play against the Yankees, probably one of the best teams in baseball.
"Every game, every swing and every at-bat counts. I don't want to miss a pitch that I've been working really hard in the practice [to hit] and got in that at-bat, and I miss it. And keeping myself in control, I got the next at-bat, I take advantage and I drive it to center field."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Gomez should have showed more professionalism.
"I think some guys took exception to the way he flipped the bat and started yelling to the ball, and we're getting beat, 9-0, and then when he came back he started yelling at me," he said. "I wasn't the guy that said anything. It's a kid that, he plays hard, but there have been a number of clubs that have taken exception to some of the things that he does on the field, and it just got a little heated."
When asked what was yelled from the dugout, Gomez smiled and said: "He invited me to dinner."