When the punches started flying between Mexico and Canada in the World Baseball Classic yesterday in Phoenix, a roar suddenly went up in the Red Sox clubhouse. There, in the middle of the action wearing his familiar No. 91, was Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves ended up absorbing more punishment than he dealt, leaving the field with a clear bruise or scrape on the right side of his head that will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation when he rejoins the Red Sox this week.

Aceves had nothing to do with the start of the brawl itself. With Mexico trailing 9-3 in the ninth and three outs from likely elimination, reliever Arnold Leon hit Canada’s Rene Tosoni in the back. The benches emptied and a wild scene erupted, with players on both sides throwing haymakers.

Aceves was quickly thrown to the ground by Phillies outfield prospect Tyson Gillies, and absorbed a punch to the head. Aceves attempted to throw punches himself, but was swarmed by multiple members of Team Canada before being ejected.