Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly on Wednesday was suspended for eight games by the MLB, a day after throwing a fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and mockingly taunting Astros star Carlos Correa.
Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Minute Maid Park.
The game marked the first time the teams had met since it was revealed that Houston stole signs leading to a 2017 World Series title that came at the Dodgers’ expense.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was suspended one game and Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.
Baker said that he was fined because his players came onto the field, breaking COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Kelly elected to appeal and can continue to play until the process is complete. Roberts served his penalty on Wednesday night, when the Dodgers faced Houston.
Kelly, a hard thrower with a touch of wildness, has previously been suspended for throwing at a batter.
An eight-game penalty in this virus-shortened 60-game season is equivalent of 22 games in a 162-game season.
“I think that the punishments were fair,” Baker said.
In Wednesday night’s game in Houston, Edwin Rios slugged a two-run homer leading off the top of the 13th inning, and the Dodgers outlasted Astros 4-2 to sweep a two-game interleague series.
Rios, who struck out as a pinch hitter leading off the 11th, drilled a 2-2 cutter from Astros reliever Cy Sneed (0-1) 368 feet into the seats in right field.
Enrique Hernandez, who opened the frame on second base per rules enacted for this season, scored on the Rios blast — the first two-run home run to lead off an inning in MLB history, according to MLB.com data.
Dennis Santana (1-0), the ninth pitcher of the game for the Dodgers, earned the win after starting the game by striking out George Springer with the potential winning run on third in the 11th.
Astros rookie right-hander Cristian Javier dazzled in his first career start, limiting the Dodgers to one run on two hits and one walk with eight strikeouts over 5-2/3 innings.
In other games on Wednesday it was:
‧ Yankees 9, Orioles 3
‧ Giants 7, Padres 6
‧ Twins 3, Cardinals 0
‧ Braves 7, Rays 4
‧ Mariners 10, Angels 7
‧ Nationals 4, Blue Jays 0, 10 inns
‧ Rockies 5, Athletics 1
‧ Brewers 3, Pirates 0
‧ Rangers 7, Diamondbacks 4
‧ Reds 12, Cubs 7
‧ White Sox 4, Indians 0
‧ Red Sox 6, Mets 5
‧ Tigers 5, Royals 4
Additional reporting by Reuters
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