ST. PETERSBURG -- One day after Yankees manager Joe Girardi insisted his club would not retaliate for a violent home-plate collision in Saturday's game against the Rays, both clubs spilled onto the field at Progress Energy Park in a bench-clearing incident Wednesday.
In the first inning, Yankees starter Heath Phillips was ejected for throwing an up-and-in fastball to Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, grazing the batter and earning an immediate thumb from home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild.
Girardi vehemently protested Phillips' ejection, at one point raising his hands to the air. Right-hander Steven Jackson relieved Phillips with two outs in the first inning.
In the home half of the first, the Yankees' Shelley Duncan escalated the incident by sliding hard into second base, clearing both benches. Play halted for several minutes as the two clubs engaged in shoving, and at least one punch appeared to be thrown.
Duncan, Yankees third-base coach Bobby Meacham, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and Rays right fielder Jonny Gomes were ejected following the incident.
Tensions ran high between the Yankees and Rays on Saturday, when 22-year-old catcher Francisco Cervelli was hit hard by Rays infielder Elliot Johnson while blocking home plate. Cervelli fractured his right wrist and was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday in New York.
Girardi strongly criticized Johnson's play, calling it "unnecessary" for a Spring Training game.
Phillips was starting Wednesday in place of left-hander Andy Pettitte, who was scratched with tendinitis in his pitching forearm.