After striking out Rays outfielder Avisail Garcia to end the sixth inning, Sabathia and Garcia began jawing at each other. Before long, both benches and bullpens cleared for a little get-together on the field.
Teammate Didi Gregorius needed to hold Sabathia back, and the shortstop might have helped prevent a full-scale brawl between the AL East rivals. Fortunately, no punches were thrown and order was restored.
After the game, Sabathia called the incident a "misunderstanding," but he added that "there's no love lost" between him and the Rays, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
Garcia was unsure why the incident even happened, telling MLB.com's Juan Toribio that he "didn't say anything" to Sabathia, who became upset with him "for no reason."
This is far from the first time the Rays and Sabathia have butted heads in recent seasons. Near the end of last year, the veteran southpaw was ejected - and later suspended - for purposely throwing at a Rays hitter and then appearing to swear at their dugout.
"He stares at people and if you stare back at him I think he gets mad," Rays shortstop Willy Adames said Tuesday, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "... He's a veteran guy and I think he just thinks nobody can stare at him."
Through it all, Sabathia has been successful against the Rays, posting a 2.63 ERA with 18 strikeouts in four starts against them this season prior to Tuesday.
Tuesday could mark the last time that Sabathia, who's retiring at season's end, faces the Rays. The two teams will square off just four more times in 2019 - on Wednesday and Thursday in New York, and then on Sept. 24 and 25 at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees won Tuesday's game 8-3, and they now lead the season series against Tampa Bay 10-5.