Thursday night's eighth inning featured some flaring tempers at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, but the Cougars winning streak remains the hottest thing in the Midwest League.
A 7-3 victory over the Clinton LumberKings (26-33, 56-71) extended the Cougars' (39-20, 84-45) winning streak to 11 games. The victory also was a franchise-record 51st home win.
With the Cougars' leading 7-1 in the eighth inning, Trey Martin was forced out at second on Mark Zagunis' fielder's choice. Martin harshly slid into the bag and took a moment to gather himself up.
As Cougars athletic trainer John Fierro ran out to check on the outfielder, Martin stood up and looked to be okay. While Fierro and manager Mark Johnson talked with Martin, Clinton shortstop Nelson Ward said something that caused Johnson to confront the infielder.
LumberKings second baseman Luis Caballero ran to break up the conflict, and both benches and bullpens cleared. Only words were exchanged before both teams traveled back their dugouts and the Cougars ended the inning without any more runs.
Clinton showed life in the ninth as they loaded the bases off of reliever David Garner. With two outs, Caballero walked to force in a run and Aaron Barbosa laced a single to bring the tying run at the plate.
Francisco Carrillo took the mound for the save situation and sealed the victory by striking out Brett Thomas. It was Carrillo's fifth save.
Offensively, the Cougars jumped forward scoring 4 runs in the first inning to knock starter Blake Holovach (6-5) out of the game. The Cougars piled up 6 runs before Clinton found the scoreboard as Jonathan Martinez (10-5) struck out eight batters for his third win as a member of the Cubs' organization.
Friday's matchup between the Cougars and LumberKings features left-hander Tyler Ihrig (1-1, 2.93) and Clinton's Carlos Misell (8-9, 4.27). First pitch from Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is 6:30 p.m.