TORONTO -- Ernie Whitt took exception to Boston hurler Bruce Kison sailing a second-inning fast ball behind his head and later striking George Bell in the arm.
So the Toronto catcher found an effective way of exacting his revenge.
Whitt belted his first career grand slam to cap a four-run sixth inning Sunday and led the Toronto Blue Jays to an 8-1 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
'I think the message came across when I hit the homer,' said Whitt. 'It felt good. The blood was boiling in me before it happened.'
As Whitt circled the bases following his eighth homer, he shouted continually at Kison, but later refused to disclose any of his words.
'No comment,' said the 33-year-old backstop before adding, 'If I told you, you couldn't use it anyway.'
Whitt was quick to suggest that Kison was a cheap-shot artist with a reputation for head-hunting.
'If you're going to throw at a guy, throw at his body not at his head,' said Whitt. 'But he's been known to throw at hitters heads before. Kison's been involved in a lot of incidents like this.'
Toronto skipper Bobby Cox concurred.
'He's got a reputation,' said Cox. 'But that's not what upset us. What upset us was the kicking of Sully (bullpen coach Johnny Sullivan).'
Sullivan had been pushed to the ground during the benches-clearing brawl that ensued the striking of Bell and kicked repeatedly in the face by Boston first baseman Bill Buckner.
In the quiet Red Sox clubhouse, Manager John McNamara refused to discuss the incident.
'I guess those kinds of things happen in baseball,' said McNamara. 'Other than that, I have no comment.'
Kison denied deliberately throwing at Bell.
'Everyone knows that the way to get him out is to pitch him inside,' said Kison. 'What we were trying to do is throw him breaking balls and fast ones inside.'
Dave Stieb and Dennis Lamp combined to pitch a six-hitter for Toronto. Stieb, 7-5, did not allow a hit until Marty Barrett's leadoff single in the sixth. He struck out five and walked three while dropping his American League-leading ERA to 2.09.
A brawl erupted between the two clubs in the fourth after Kison, 3-2, hit Bell on the arm with a pitch. Bell, the fifth hit batsman in the four-game series, immediately charged the mound and kicked Kison in the stomach. The Toronto outfielder then punched catcher Rich Gedman, who was pursuing him to the mound, and both benches cleared. After nine minutes of pushing and shoving, Bell was ejected and a warning was issued to both clubs.
Leading 2-0, Toronto blew the game open in the sixth on Whitt's blast. Kison led off the inning by walking Lloyd Moseby and Willie Upshaw. Jesse Barfield's fielder's choice erased Moseby at third, but Kison walked Len Matuszek to load the bases for Whitt, who followed by lofting the first delivery over the right-field fence for his eighth homer.
Toronto stretched its lead to 8-0 with a pair of runs in the seventh on Willie Upshaw's RBI single and Barfield's run-scoring fielder's choice.
Stieb lost his shutout bid in the eighth when Manny Lee's throwing error on Wade Boggs' fielder's choice allowed GlennHoffman to score from second.
Toronto opened a 2-0 lead in the third when Tony Fernandez tripled off the right-field fence and scored when Rance Mulliniks drove a 2-0 delivery into the center-field bleachers for his fourth homer.