Jose Bautista was on the receiving end of baseball's unwritten rule as the Toronto Blue Jays crushed the Atlanta Braves 9-0 in MLB.
Bautista knew it was coming. Heck, all of baseball understood he was likely going to be plunked intentionally in his first at-bat of Thursday's series finale with the Braves at SunTrust Park.
The veteran Blue Jays slugger was hit in the hip with a fastball from Julio Teheran, the second of two pitches thrown inside out of retaliation for an unnecessary home run bat flip Wednesday with Toronto trailing by five runs late in a loss to the Braves.
Benches cleared after Bautista flipped his bat high in the air and stared down pitcher Eric O'Flaherty.
Thursday, however, there was no incident. Bautista simply turned his hip into the pitch and jogged to first without exchanging words. Both dugouts were warned by plate umpire Paul Emmel, but the Blue Jays were the only ones doing damage after the HBP.
Toronto scored three runs in the first inning after Bautista became the first Blue Jays baserunner of the night. The American League (AL) East bottom-feeders scored an additional three runs in the third inning that began with a Bautista double and another three runs in the fourth inning in which he added a single. He finished two for four with two runs scored.
The Los Angeles Dodgers accounted for the Miami Marlins 7-2, the Texas Rangers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4, the Pittsburgh Pirates were too good for the Washington Nationals 10-4, the Kansas City Royals upstaged the New York Yankees 5-1, the Oakland Athletics eased past the Boston Red Sox 8-3, World Series champions the Chicago Cubs topped the Cincinnati Reds 9-5, the Detroit Tigers edged the Baltimore Orioles 6-5, the San Diego Padres lost 4-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers and the Seattle Mariners overcame the Chicago White Sox 5-4.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins split their doubleheader with the Colorado Rockies after triumphing 2-0, having lost the opener 5-1.
RANGERS STAY RED HOT
No team in baseball are hotter than the Rangers. Behind Martin Perez's career-high eight strikeouts and Ryan Rua's tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth, the Rangers topped the Phillies to extend their MLB-best winning streak to nine games, the club's longest since they enjoyed 12 in a row in July 2011.
LEMAHIEU STRUGGLES FOR COLORADO
Rockies infielder DJ LeMahieu went 0 for six in a doubleheader with the Twins. To be fair, the Rockies were unsuccessful as a whole in game two as Jose Berrios was stellar yet again. The young Minnesota right-hander hurled seven innings of scoreless ball, allowing just two hits with 11 strikeouts.
BAEZ WITH THE SLAM
Javier Baez crushed his third-career grand slam over the wall in left-centre field, extending the Cubs' lead over the Reds in a series sweep. Baez finished with a season-high five RBIs as Chicago outscored Cincinnati 25-15 in the series after struggling at the plate for much of this campaign.
Who's gonna rock you when the sun won't let you sleep? pic.twitter.com/GHjElm3H8R— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 18, 2017
INDIANS AT ASTROS
The first time these AL pennant favourites met this season the three-game series was decided by a total of four runs. Friday, the clubs open another three-game set, this time in Houston. Trevor Bauer (3-4, 6.92 ERA) takes on host Charlie Morton (5-2, 3.97 ERA) in game one.
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Munro blitz helps Black Caps progress despite defeat|
|Fabregas still wary of timeless Iniesta|
|Liverpool´s 30-goal hero Salah: There´s more to come|
|Valverde: Coutinho dropped for the good of Barcelona|
|Garcia floors Rios for ninth-round TKO|
|Ronaldo better than Neymar? No says Xavi|
|Donovan Mitchell caps NBA All-Star challenges with dunk success|
|Anderson outlasts Nishikori to reach New York Open final|
|Steve Nash, Ray Allen among Basketball Hall of Fame finalists|
|Kevin Love: It was necessary to clean house in Cleveland|
|Real Madrid hurt you with nothing – Xavi says PSG loss an injustice|
|Conte: Chelsea need perfect game to stop Messi and Barcelona|
|LeBron James thanks Ingraham as Cavs All-Star vows to speak his mind|
|Archer says Rays could have best rotation in baseball|
|Bubba Watson takes lead with 65 at Genesis Open|
|Inter in a fragile moment, says Spalletti|
|Groves batters Eubank Jr to retain WBA crown|
|Montpellier see off plucky Oyonnax, Ashton stars in Stade mauling|
|Booed Emery praises PSG´s mental strength|
|Cavani hails ´good reaction´ as PSG bounce back in style|
|Thiem breezes past Monfils to set up Bedene showdown|
|Mourinho wants referees to have final say on VAR|
|Genoa 2 Inter 0: Pandev piles misery on old employers|
|Manchester United to host Brighton in FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Leinster see off Scarlets as Munster come up short in Cardiff|
|New No.1 Federer earns gritty Seppi win to book Rotterdam final|
|Mata ´still up for VAR´ despite disallowed goal at Huddersfield|
|Valverde: Barcelona had to suffer at Eibar|
|Championship Review: Fulham end Villa run, Cardiff pounce|
|Resilient Kvitova ousts Wozniacki in Doha thriller|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester United 2: Lukaku sends visitors through after VAR controversy|
|Toomua inspires Tigers win over Quins, Worcester beat Gloucester|
|Bayern Munich boss Heynckes hails game-changing Muller|
|Locadia benefiting from ´competitive´ Brighton - Hughton|
|Baby on board? Alba dedicates Barca goal to girlfriend|
|West Brom future ´not a decision for me´, says Pardew|
|Lions get De Bruin off to winning start|
|Paris Saint-Germain 5 Strasbourg 2: Cavani at the double in bounce-back win|
|Bar-celona! Messi posts unwanted record|
|Barca go 31 LaLiga games unbeaten to tie club record|
|Mourinho: I don´t know and I don´t care when Pogba returns|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Coventry City 1: Locadia, Ulloa lead Seagulls to quarter-finals|
|EIbar 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez and Alba seal points as Orellana sees red|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 2: Rondon stunner in vain as Baggies drop out|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski spot-on after Robben´s penalty miss|
|I hope Cutrone finds a beautiful girlfriend so he can rest and make love - Gattuso|
|Wellens claims Ruta del Sol lead, Froome suffers puncture|
|Goffin forced to retire in Rotterdam following freak eye injury|
|Allegri denies Champions League ´obsession´ ahead of Turin derby|
|Barry, Evans start for West Brom after training camp incident|
|Bottas unaffected by ´Halo´ on simulation runs|
|Sheffield Wednesday 0 Swansea City 0: Carvalhal settles for replay on Hillsborough return|
|Management ´tiring´ but Zidane not ready to leave Madrid just yet|
|Thiago back for Bayern as Heynckes rests stars for Besiktas|
|Simeone urges Atletico fans to get behind Griezmann|
|Robben amazed by Guardiola´s impact at Manchester City|
|Three-way tie for lead in Oman as Pavon falls away|
|McIlroy frustrated by added scrutiny of playing with Woods|
|Morgan to take it slow with Stokes and backs Rashid|
|Pogba out of Man Utd´s Huddersfield trip with illness|
|A-League Review: Perth ´Panenka´ punished, 10-man Adelaide rescue late draw|
|Dragons and Rabbitohs see off Super League opponents|
|Robben targets two more years at the ´highest level´|
|Rashford and Herrera ´have a chance´ of making Sevilla trip|
|Mixed feelings for Tiger Woods after missed cut at Riviera|
|Emery defends PSG star Neymar after Madrid display|
|Nishikori stays hot in New York as Anderson awaits|
|Kevin Durant: Laura Ingraham´s ignorant comment was racist|
|Thiem sets up Monfils semi-final showdown|