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Updated: April 9th, 2014 5:06pm
Heated exchange: Benches clear as Perkins, A's slugger exchange words

Heated exchange: Benches clear as Perkins, A's slugger exchange words

by Judd Zulgad
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh Donaldson brought an end to the top of the 10th inning for the Oakland A's on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field when he struck out swinging against Twins lefthander Glen Perkins.

But that wasn't it for that half of the inning.

Donaldson flipped his bat after he missed on Perkins' slider and the Twins closer, who was pitching in a 4-4 game, seemed to say something to the A's third baseman. Donaldson took exception, words were exchanged and the benches emptied, although no punches were thrown.

So what happened?

"I talked to him and then as I was walking away he started yelling and then the benches cleared," Perkins said after the Twins' 7-4 loss to the A's in 11 innings. "I turned around and was going to walk back in and Joe (Mauer) grabbed me and said, 'Let's go.' So I stopped. I don't think it was too rowdy."

Donaldson, who didn't recall any previous incidents with Perkins, said he flipped his bat and heard Perkins "barking at me."

"I look up and he says something and he gives me like a little finger or whatever, not THE finger, like a little point," Donaldson said. "And then I started to red line."

Donaldson couldn't hear exactly what Perkins was saying because the crowd was loud but he did hear some words he didn't like.

"But with that being said, I don't feel like I disrespected him at all," Donaldson said. "I'm up there trying to win a game for our team and he's trying to win a game for his team. Juices are flowing. I don't know what it was all about."

Donaldson struck out on a 2-2 pitch after hammering a long foul ball to left field that he seemed to admire.

Perkins, for one, said the fact that the Twins (3-5) showed some emotion wasn't the worst thing in the world. Both benches were warned following the incident.

"I think that's good," he said. "We need to fight. We fought back in the game (to tie it at 4-4 after trailing 4-0 after the top of the first), and we had a chance to win it in the ninth and we didn't. I got out of the two-out walk (to Jed Lowrie). Part of that's trying to fire up the team, trying to get guys going and we need that around here. We need some energy, we need some fight. I think the guys appreciated it." 

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Glen Perkins