ARLINGTON, Texas – Houston Astros right-hander Hector Neris began a low-suspension service Tuesday night, a week later, in which he drowned a Seattle Mariners batsman and suffered a blow to the head.
Neris was initially suspended by Major League Baseball for four games for the June 6 match against the Mariners. The reliever appealed and a settlement reduced the discipline to three games without hearing the case.
The Astros have not been allowed to replace Neris on the active roster during their suspension, which began with their game against the Texas Rangers. The American League-high 29-performing pitcher will be reinstated ahead of Saturday’s home game against the Chicago White Sox.
Astros manager Dusty Baker, who was also ruled out of that game against the Mariners, was given a one-match suspension last week. Baker and Neris were also fined an undisclosed amount.
The MLB also fined Astros coaches Joe Espada, Omar Lopez and Troy Sneijder, as well as Mariners manager Scott Servis.
On June 6, in the ninth inning, Neris hit a tie to France which went close to a right-handed hitter. Service started shouting from the bench, then led his team to the field to face the Astros near the home plate. While Servis and Baker pushed and pushed, Servis repeatedly hinted at Lopez, the Astros’ first-base coach. Both Service and Lopez were expelled after the attack.
After the clash, the umpires warned both the teams. Neris then threw a pitch behind Eugenio Suarez’s head. This led to the automatic expulsion of Neris and Baker, who denied that Neris had deliberately thrown any players.