Major League Baseball has bestowed suspensions to seven members of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds for their roles in a bench-clearing brawl during a Tuesday night tilt. The brawl’s lasting image has been Cincinnati reliever Amir Garrett single-handedly attempting to battle the Pirates’ dugout. Outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was traded less than an hour before the fight commenced, was hit with three games, while Garrett will miss eight.
Bob Nightengale revealed the suspensions on Twitter. While all players involved will appeal, managers David Bell and Clint Hurdle will begin serving their sentences immediately. Bell’s starts on Thursday night, as the Reds take on the Atlanta Braves.
Pittsburgh pitcher Keone Kela received the harshest punishment, assessed ten games for throwing toward the head of Reds batter Derek Dietrich. The offending pitch came in the seventh inning with the Pirates up 8-2. Dietrich was previously hit by Pittsburgh pitches in April and May.
The apparent targeting of the second baseman stems from Pirates pitchers taking offense to Dietrich round the bases in the former April game. Kela would go on to strike out Dietrich swinging to cap a perfect inning, but tension remained high throughout the remainder of Tuesday’s game.
All other suspensions stem from the aforementioned altercation, which occurred in the ninth inning. Pittsburgh led 8-3 by then, but words continued to be exchanged between the clubs. Cincinnati right-hander Jared Hughes was ejected from the game after intentionally throwing at Starling Marte to open the frame. Hughes was assessed three games for his role in igniting the future fisticuffs.
Garrett would enter the game and give up a three-run home run to Jose Osuna. After earning his second out, Garrett made his memorable charge to the Pittsburgh dugout after exchanging words with Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams. Garrett gets three games from the fracas, as will Pirates pitcher Kyle Crick, who had pitched the eighth inning. Osuna was also given the harsher penalty of five games.
Bell’s suspension is longer due to the fact he was ejected in the penultimate frame for arguing balls and strikes, yet returned to the field to partake in the extracurriculars. He notably confronted Pittsburgh hitting coach Rick Eckstein and shouted expletives at Hurdle as he left the field. Tuesday marked the eighth time the first-year manager Bell was ejected from a game this season. That high tally also played a part in his extended ousting.
Williams was not suspended for his role in the incident. He is Pittsburgh’s scheduled starter for their next game on Friday night against the New York Mets. Like the other players involved, Puig will appeal his three-game penalty. He is eligible to make his Cleveland debut on Thursday night at home against Houston. The Pirates (47-61) eventually would win Tuesday’s game 11-4. Cincinnati (50-56) took the three-game series with a 4-1 win on Wednesday.