Major League Baseball announced this evening that Astros reliever Héctor Neris has been suspended four games “for intentionally throwing at Eugenio Suárez of the Mariners in the area of the head while warnings were in place.” He was also fined an undisclosed amount. Neris is appealing the ban, reports Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). He’ll remain on the active roster while the appeal runs its course.
Houston skipper Dusty Baker was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount on account of Neris’ actions. That’s standard procedure in these situations, and Baker will miss tonight’s game as a result. (Managers are not afforded any appellate rights). Bench coach Joe Espada will be the acting manager in his stead, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Espada himself was hit with a fine, as were fellow Houston staff members Omar López and Troy Snitker and Seattle manager Scott Servais.
The discipline comes out of last night’s contest, when benches cleared after Neris hit Mariners infielder Ty France in the top of the ninth inning. While France didn’t seem to take umbrage with the pitch itself, the benches began jawing after a dispute about whether the pitch actually struck him. Servais and López were ejected and the sides were warned.
Julio Rodríguez followed the France hit-by-pitch with a two-run homer. Two batters later, Neris sailed a fastball behind Suárez’s head, and home plate umpire Chris Guccione ejected both Neris and Baker. MLB has judged the offering to Suárez to be intentional, leading to the suspensions. Last night’s contest was the opener of a three-game set between the AL West rivals.