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Houston Astros reliever Hector Neris and manager Dusty Baker have been handed suspensions by MLB following Monday night’s face-off between the Astros and Seattle Mariners that saw a bench-clearing brawl.
Both Astros have been fined an undisclosed amount of money. Baker has been assigned a one-game suspension while Neris was hit with four games.
The Houston Chronicle’s Danielle Lerner reported on Tuesday that MLB gave Neris the four-game suspension “for intentionally throwing at Eugenio Suarez of the Mariners in the area of the head while warnings were in place.”
The suspension-triggering incident gradually escalated in the ninth inning. After Mariners infielder Ty France was hit with an errant pitch by Neris, both benches met in the middle for a heated discussion. Mariners manager Scott Servais and Astros staff member Omar Lopez were booted as a result.
Neris, amid warnings from the ump, threw a pitch behind the head of Suarez. Neris and Baker were then ejected from the game.
Baker’s suspension will be served Tuesday night as Seattle and Houston face off for game 2 of the three-game series.
“I don’t want to talk about it too much more because I’m already kind of pissed off,” Baker said after Monday’s 7-4 loss.
Neris commented after being ejected from the contest: “[Chris Guccione] couldn’t say if it’s on purpose or not [the pitch to Suárez], but he said after a warning he had to do it.” The reliever did not admit to intentionally throwing the wayward pitches.
“I don’t have a comment about that,” Neris said on the potential deliberation. He appealed the suspension on Tuesday and will remain on the active roster as a result.
Astros bench coach Joe Espada will replace Baker for Tuesday’s matchup.