Sports

Astros Baker, Neris Suspended After Mariners Scuffle

Dusty Baker got heated on Monday when benches cleared against the Mariners.
Dusty Baker got heated on Monday when benches cleared against the Mariners. Photo by Jack Gorman
Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker was suspended for Tuesday night's game against the Seattle Mariners and reliever Hector Neris was suspended for four games by Major League Baseball after a fairly minor scuffle in the Astros loss to the Mariners on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

Neris bore the brunt of the punishment for throwing behind Eugenio Suarez while both teams had been warned for such behavior. Baker got a one-game suspension for his role that wound up clearing the benches of both teams.

For the Mariners, several coaches including Manager Scott Servais were issued fines. Servais, by some accounts, got things started by yapping from the dugout for much of the game.

This was the second straight game where the Astros were involved in a controversy over throwing at another player. In Sunday night's game against Kansas City, closer Ryan Pressly was tossed after arguing over a warning issued to both teams. Pressly threw inside to the ninth man in the Royals lineup, he claimed to back him off the plate. With just one out left in the game Pressly got thrown out and was incensed.

Much like Sunday, it was the ninth inning of a 5-4 game when a near fight broke out after the pitch from Neris. Seattle would go on to win the game 7-4.

Given that Neris is a reliever and the Astros won Tuesday 4-1 without both he and their manager, it amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist. But, no doubt the Astros are none too happy with major league officiating at the moment. Good thing it hasn't done anything to impact games thus far.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke