PHOENIX — Alfredo Aceves and several players threw nasty punches when a fierce, full-scale brawl broke out in the ninth inning Saturday of Canada's 10-3 romp over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
"Whoever says that we're just here as an extra spring training game or we're just here to say we represented our country and then go home obviously didn't see how intense that game was and what it means to everybody that was involved," Canadian slugger Justin Morneau said.
Multiple fights erupted after Canada's Rene Tosoni was hit in the back by a pitch from Arnold Leon with the score 9-3. It quickly turned into a wild scene.
Even when the fisticuffs ended, Canadian pitching coach Denis Boucher was hit in the face by a full water bottle thrown from the crowd. Canada shortstop Cale Iorg angrily threw the bottle back into the crowd.
Several police officers came onto the field, and seven players were ejected.
Canada first-base coach Larry Walker said he held back Mexico star Adrian Gonzalez and also tried to restrain Aceves.
"I had a hold of him, and I thought I saw Satan in his eyes," Walker said.
A bunt hit by Chris Robinson seemed to increase tension; a WBC tiebreaker relies heavily on runs, and the Canadians wanted to score again in the ninth. Third baseman Luis Cruz fielded Robinson's bunt and seemed to tell Leon to hit the next batter.
Also in the WBC, Mike Aviles drove in three runs and Puerto Rico beat Venezuela 6-3 to advance to the second round. Rays closer Fernando Rodney struck out the final batter with the bases loaded as the Dominican Republic beat Spain 6-3. Yasmany Tomas hit a three-run homer to help Cuba rout Taiwan 14-0.
DL LOOMING: Johan Santana likely is headed to the disabled list after the Mets again pushed back the schedule for their ace to make his spring training debut. The left-hander, 33, didn't pitch after Aug. 17 because of lower back inflammation.
MARKAKIS OUT: Orioles rightfielder Nick Markakis, who hadn't played since March 1 because of a stiff neck, was scratched because of neck spasms and is scheduled for an MRI exam on Monday.
CONCERN FOR ORTIZ: Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who felt some soreness while running last week, was sent for an MRI exam on both heels, the Providence Journal reported.
GIANTS, POSEY TALKING: The Giants and catcher Buster Posey are in talks about a multiyear deal that would buy out the former FSU star's remaining arbitration years, csnbayarea.com reported. Posey, 25, who won the NL MVP last season, is under team control through 2016. In other Giants news, right-hander Tim Lincecum, who has missed two outings with a blister on his right middle finger, felt good after pitching in a simulated game.
ANGELS: Right-hander Ryan Madson is set to throw a bullpen session Monday for the first time since he had a setback in his recovery from elbow reconstruction surgery in early February.
RANGERS: Left-hander Matt Harrison was scratched from his scheduled start because of inflammation of a left toe.
TWINS: Right-hander Deolis Guerra will have surgery to treat a blood clot in his right shoulder and is expected to miss about three months.