After JBJ's throw, benches empty

Porcello, Headley get into shouting match in 7th inning

After JBJ's throw, benches empty

BOSTON -- Just as the Fenway Park crowd was finishing a collective roar over Jackie Bradley Jr.'s latest cannon throw from center field, the Red Sox and Yankees briefly cleared the benches and bullpen due to a heated exchange between Boston pitcher Rick Porcello and New York third baseman Chase Headley.

Headley's drive to left-center in the seventh inning of Boston's thrilling 5-3 win took a wild bounce off the top of the scoreboard, and Bradley ranged quite a ways to retrieve the ball. He quickly fired the ball to third, falling down as he unleashed it. Brock Holt slapped down the tag and Headley was out.

Set off by something Porcello said, Headley started walking toward the mound. At that point, the benches and bullpens emptied, but there was no altercation.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought Porcello was accusing Headley of stealing signs.

"The way I understand it is that Porcello accused him of peeking at the catcher, I think, is the understanding I got," Girardi said. "Chase has never been accused of that. I don't know. It's an emotional game and sometimes the emotions get the best of players."

Headley and Porcello had no interest in discussing the details of their short dispute.

"That's baseball stuff," said Porcello. "Happens down on the field and I'm just going to let it stay there between me and Headley."

Did Porcello agree with Girardi's interpretation of events?

"I mean, Joe can think whatever he wants to think. That's, again, between me and Chase Headley," said Porcello.

What led to Headley walking toward Porcello?

Yankees on benches clearing

"I got up and he was yelling at me, so I yelled back at him," Headley said. "He said his piece, I said my piece. That was about it. It surprised me, but we're both competitors, we'll leave it on the field and keep at it."

Meanwhile, the throw by Bradley was just the latest in a series of gems he's made the past three seasons.

"I was just trying to make a play," said Bradley. "We had a couple of crazy bounces off of that wall tonight. I just tried to pick it up as quick as possible and make a throw. When it left my hand I was probably laying on the ground. I was just hoping that I threw it in the right direction and not into the stands."

It was Bradley's 11th assist of the season, as he leads Major League center fielders in that category.

"He has such an outstanding ability of throwing the baseball," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The carom was an odd one, which it's off the top portion of that slope where the message board is and his momentum is going almost toward the right-field corner and he throws the ball back to third base and somehow finds enough arm strength and accuracy to make one heck of a play.

"At the time, that's a fairly close ballgame and a chance to put a man at third base with nobody out. It changes the complexion of the game. Just an outstanding play on his part."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.