HOUSTON – Astros pitcher Héctor Neris was suspended four games and Houston manager Dusty Baker was banned one game by Major League Baseball after both were ejected from a game Monday night against Seattle in which Neris plunked one hitter and nearly hit another in the head.
Neris and Baker were also fined undisclosed amounts, MLB Senior Vice President for On-field Operations Michael Hill announced Tuesday. Astros coaches Joe Espada, Omar López and Troy Snitker were also fined, as was Mariners manager Scott Servais.
Neris is appealing his suspension and remained active for Houston's game against Seattle on Tuesday night. Baker planned to serve his suspension, with Espada managing Tuesday's game.
In the ninth inning Monday, Neris hit Ty France with a pitch that nearly went all the way behind the right-handed hitter. Servais began shouting from the bench, then led his team onto the field to confront Houston near home plate. Servais and Baker pushed and shoved, while Servais pointed repeatedly at López, the Astros' first base coach. Both Servais and López were ejected following the fracas.
Umpires warned both teams after the melee. Neris then threw a pitch behind the head of Eugenio Suarez, leading to automatic ejections for Neris and Baker.
Baker denied that Neris intentionally threw at either player.
“The pitch behind France, in a one-run game you’re not going to put anybody on, nobody is throwing at him,” Baker said late Monday. “We don’t do that anyway. It was a series of bad events and I don’t want to talk about it too much more because I’m already kind of (upset).”
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