MINNEAPOLIS -- Carlos Gomez's penchant for bunting has never sat well with Cliff Lee. That was the case again Wednesday, when the Twins center fielder and Indians pitcher got into a verbal dispute in the fifth inning. The two players jawed at each other after Gomez flew out to right field for the first out of the inning. As he walked back to the dugout, Lee and Gomez exchanged words. Indians first baseman Victor Martinez held Gomez back and ushered him toward the Twins dugout. Both benches emptied in the process, but things remained relatively calm on the field.
"He said to take it easy, play the game," Gomez said of Martinez. "'This is not baseball.' I said, all right." Gomez and Lee had a similar exchange during a contest last July after Gomez bunted toward the pitcher's mound. Lee fielded the ball and made the out, and then proceeded to exchange words with Gomez. That incident seemed to resonate Wednesday, nearly a year later, when the two went at it again. Gomez struck out in the third inning when he fouled off a bunt attempt. He then tried to square up a couple times before flying out to right field in his next at-bat, and while Gomez was running down the first-base line, Lee yelled something to him. "He said something but it's all right. He can say whatever he wants to say," Gomez said. "The only thing I have to do is my job. I can't say nothing about this." The two then began jawing at each other, in an exchange that was reminiscent of the one that occurred last season. Also similarly to last season, Lee refused to touch the subject after the game. "I don't know, man. I want to leave that alone," he said. "I just really don't want to comment on it." Gomez didn't have much to say on the topic either. "I don't want to talk about this," Gomez said. "I do my job and that's the only thing I have to say to you. I do my job and he does his job. That's it. I don't want to say something." "Just some competitive jawing back and forth, that's all that was," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. Following the shouting match, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey hit two Indians batters --including the first batter of the inning -- in the sixth, and Lee plunked Jason Kubel in the seventh, though it was not considered intentional. Gomez did get some sort of retribution in the seventh inning when he singled in Minnesota's only run of the game off Lee.
Tyler Mason is a reporter for MLB.com. Kelly Thesier contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.