Reggie Jackson hit a two-run homer before he was ejected for fighting with Cleveland pitcher John Denny, helping the Yankees to a 6-1 rout of the Indians in New York last night. Rick Reuschel scattered nine hits to spark host New York.
Jackson slammed his 12th homer in the fourth inning -- after being knocked down by starter Denny (9-5) two innings earlier -- and the Yankee slugger was challenged by Denny as he circled the bases. When Jackson crossed the plate, Denny was just a few steps away and the two men began a fight that touched off a benches-clearing brawl. After an 11-minute delay, Jackson and Denny were ejected by home plate umpire Dale Ford.
Jackson was carried from the field by teammates Bobby Brown and Oscar Gamble. Jackson was clapping and grinning as he was borne from the field.
After the incident, both Denny and Jackson were ejected. Denny had gone 3 1-3 innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits and three walks, while striking out three. He was replaced by Ed Glynn.
In the second inning, Denny threw a pitch under Jackson's chin on an 0-1 pitch with two men on and two out as the Yankees led, 2-0.
Jackson, a frequent target of American League pitchers, struck out swinging to end the inning, but instead of heading toward right field, he moved in the direction of Denny, shouting and pointing at the right-hander.
Denny stared back at Jackson, and Jackson motioned as though he would charge the mound. It was at this point that both benches cleared for the first time. Brown restrained Jackson and it took several minutes to clear the field.
After the first incident, Joe Altobelli, the Yankee third base coach, was ejected from the game.
After the game, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner said that in the future his club will take legal action against opposing pitchers suspected of throwing at Yankee hitters.
Steinbrenner said the Yankees, "knee deep in lawyers," would file a lawsuit against any opposition pitcher suspected of throwing at a Yankee hitter "within 24 hours or on their next visit to New York whether that visit be for business or pleasure."