The St. Lucie Mets weren't exactly gracious hosts to the Clearwater Threshers Saturday night, but then again, it was the Threshers who started it; sort of.
The Threshers Clay Harris had a career night, launching two-run home runs in the first and third innings and a solo shot in the fifth to help the Threshers to a 7-2 lead. When Harris stepped to the plate in the seventh, reliever Casey Hoorelbeke promptly hit him with a pitch to clear both benches, but the battle didn't end there. Clearwater's Edgar Garcia, who had shown good control all night long, promptly hit leadoff hitter Jordan Abruzzo with a pitch to again empty the benches and force the ejection of Garcia.
While it figured that the issue would likely end after Garcia's retaliation, there were more fireworks in store.
Harris again stepped to the plate against Horrelbeke in the eighth, this time with the bases loaded and again, he was hit by a pitch to prompt the ejection of Horrelbeke. Mets pitcher German Marte became the third pitcher ejected when he hit catcher Tuffy Gosewisch with a pitch to lead off the ninth inning.
Clearwater won the contest 11-3.
The ironic part of the incident is that Harris is not generally known for his power, but his three-homer night boosted his season total to seven. Harris came into the series on a hot streak, having hit .600 (12-for-20) over the seven games leading up to the series with St. Lucie and hiked his average to .325 at Clearwater. Harris continued his hot hitting on Sunday, going 2-for-3, giving himself a nine game hitting streak during which he's hit .654 (17-for-26).
Harris admitted after the game that he was a little disappointed that he didn't get to extend his streak of home runs, especially since it was the first multi-homer game in his professional career.
In Sunday's game, Clearwater pitcher Dan Brauer hit two batters, but there were no further incidents. Brauer was struggling with his control and walked three hitters in addition to hitting two in just two innings of work.