Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/26/12

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays have packed quite a bit of animosity into their 15-year rivalry, with Friday night providing the latest chapter.

Following in the tradition of Gerald Williams vs. Pedro Martinez in 2000 and Coco Crisp vs. James Shields in 2008, Friday night featured another bench-clearer courtesy of Luke Scott and Franklin Morales.

With bad blood lingering from the series in Tampa Bay last week, when Adrian Gonzalez and then Scott were drilled, this time there seemed little doubt of Morales' intentions. There were two outs in the ninth, no runners on base, and the Rays were ahead by three runs.

Three innings after Tampa Bay reliever Burke Badenhop hit Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Morales threw his first pitch behind Scott before eventually hitting him on the knee. Scott started toward the mound, was pushed aside by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the benches emptied, with Boston bench coach Tim Bogar and pitching coach Bob McClure the most incensed.

Though no punches were thrown and no one was ejected, the dustup overshadowed a poor performance from Jon Lester in Tampa Bay's 7-4 victory.

"I think it's ridiculous, and I think it's absurd and idiotic," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The people that were incensed are obviously the ones that were probably behind the effort -- the really weak, cowardly effort on their part. Did I say that strongly enough? Did I make my point?"

For their part, Red Sox players took the high road.

"We're just playing the game," Pedroia said. "It's baseball, you don't want to see anybody get hit. We're trying to play the game, trying to win the game. They're a great team. We respect them, and tonight they outplayed us."

With the Rays intimating that the Red Sox have not heard the last of this, one of baseball's most heated rivalries will be on high alert for the next couple of days.

"At the end of the day," Scott said, "you reap what you sow."

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