This got testy late in Monday’s Seattle Mariners win over the Houston Astros.
MLB hit members of both teams with penalties on Tuesday, including suspensions for Astros manager Dusty Baker and pitcher Hector Neris for nearly plunking Eugenio Suarez. Baker faces a one-game ban while Norris faces a four-game ban. Both were also handed undisclosed fines.
MLB also issued undisclosed fines to Mariners manager Scott Servais and Astros coaches Joe Espada, Omar Lopez and Troy Snitker for their roles in a benches-clearing incident earlier in the game.
Neris drew the most severe penalty for “intentionally throwing at Eugenio Suarez in the area of the head While warnings were in place. “With Seattle leading 7-4 in the ninth inning, Neris threw a pitch high and inside that forced Suarez to duck. Neris was immediately ejected from the game.
Baker was suspended for “the intentional actions of Neris.”
Things heated up earlier in the inning when Neris threw a pitch that hit Ty France in the back as the Mariners held a 5-4 lead. Servais wasn’t pleased with the pitch and started chirping from the Mariners dugout. Both benches then cleared and met at home plate.
That incident led to the warnings that preceded Neris’ pitch at Suarez’s head.
Baker said after the game that Neris “certainly wasn’t trying to throw” at France. He acknowledged that the pitch at Suarez “looked bad” but “wasn’t intentional either.”
Monday’s was the first of a three-game series between the teams. Neris, a reliever, appealed the ban and is eligible for Game 2 of the series on Tuesday.