Though dormant in recent seasons, it never takes much for the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry to flare up.
Nothing happened between the teams themselves on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, but a fan in the bleachers threw a baseball at Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo in the sixth inning, causing manager Alex Cora to briefly take his team off the field.
"This is just a game,'' Cora said. "It's a game. It's not life and death and it's not this drama, and the fact that people come to the ballpark and they decided to throw a baseball [at] one of the players, I was in shock that that happened."
Verdugo, who was uninjured, was struck in the back by the ball with the game tied at 1-1. The 25-year-old Verdugo, who came to Boston as part of its return for Mookie Betts, had initially tossed a ball into the stands to a young Red Sox fan before it was intercepted by a Yankees fan.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
"It's awful, embarrassing, unacceptable,'' Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Due to heavy rains in the Bronx, the game was called after six innings with the Yankees ahead, 3-1. It was New York's first win of the season against the Red Sox after dropping its first eight meetings with Boston.