Rodriguez gives up back to back homers late and the Bucs lose 3-2.

Eaton, Kendrick homer in 8th, Nats rally past Pirates 3-2
BOBBY BANCROFT Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Howie Kendrick is quickly making up for lost time.
Limited to only five games last season because of a torn Achilles and slowed this spring by a hamstring injury, the 35-year-old Kendrick is off to a fast start for the Washington Nationals.
He’s 6 for 10, including a home run Saturday that sent the Nationals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.
After Adam Eaton’s two-out, two-strike homer in the eighth inning tied it, Kendrick connected on the next pitch.
“Following him up right there I was just like all right I want to get a pinch that I can get a drive,” Kendrick said. “Wasn’t necessarily thinking trying to hit a homer or anything like that. It just happened that way.”
Kendrick started his second game of the season and his shot off Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez (0-1) was his second homer of the year. The second baseman is now in his 14th season.
Eaton finished with three hits as the Nationals denied Pittsburgh its first series win in Washington since 2013. The teams finish the three-game set on Sunday.
Wander Suero (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Sean Doolittle escaped his own first-and-second, one-out jam for his first save.
Melky Cabrera hit his first home run of the season, tagging Anibal Sanchez to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Pirates starter Chris Archer struck out nine and allowed one run in seven innings in his third start of the season. He also singled in the seventh for his first hit of the season.
“It’s frustrating,” Archer said. “We played a great game. Our margin for error is small.”
Archer pitched while appealing his five-game suspension from Major League Baseball for setting off a bench-clearing fracas at PNC Park last Sunday. He threw a fastball behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich, who stood and admired a long home run in his previous at-bat.
There were five ejections, but Archer wasn’t tossed. He can keep playing until there’s a final ruling on his appeal.
Sanchez lasted seven innings, allowing two runs off seven hits while striking out two. He has yet to win in three starts since joining Washington from Atlanta in the offseason as a free agent.
NATIONALS RECORD
Anthony Rendon doubled to break a Nationals record with at least one-extra base hit in 10 straight games. He had shared the mark with Ryan Zimmerman. Rendon also extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
THIRD BASE SWITCH
Colin Moran earned the start at third base for Pittsburgh over Jung Ho Kang a day after hitting the go-ahead home run in the 10th inning as a pinch-hitter.
Kang entered Saturday batting just .108 (4 for 37) in 12 games. He then struck out in the ninth with two runners on.
He’s trying to figure out how to do well again,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I’m anticipating Moran will play again tomorrow and that will give (Kang) a three game break to work on some things in extended work time.
Moran went 1 for 4 with an RBI.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Nationals: RHP Justin Miller (lower back strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list. He pitched one inning in Friday’s night loss to Pittsburgh and afterward manager Dave Martinez expressed concern about his fastball velocity.
Miller has made seven appearances this season for Washington posting a 5.68 ERA. RHP Austen Williams was recalled from Triple-A Fresno. The 26-year-old went 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in 10 appearances out of the Washington bullpen in 2018.
UP NEXT
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (0-2, 3.00 ERA) has a 3.50 ERA in three career appearances against the Nationals. Pittsburgh’s opening day starter lasted just two innings in his last appearance on Monday in Chicago.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (1-2, 3.32) will make his fourth start of the season a day later than expected after dealing with right leg soreness. Scherzer is 11-10 in 32 career starts when coming off six or more days of rest.
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Moran hits pinch-hit, 3-run homer as Pirates top Nats 6-3

Moran hits pinch-hit, 3-run homer as Pirates top Nats 6-3
By IAN QUILLEN Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Colin Moran had a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the 10th inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates scored five runs off Washington’s struggling bullpen in a 6-3 victory over the Nationals on Friday night.
Moran’s homer to right center off Justin Miller was his second as a pinch hitter in 34 at-bats. He was batting for Jung Ho Kang, after Melky Cabrera and Adam Frazier reached base against lefty Matt Grace (0-1).
Pittsburgh snapped a four-game losing streak in Washington and spoiled a two-homer night for the Nationals’ Anthony Rendon.
Washington’s relievers entered Friday’s game as the worst in the majors, and their ERA grew to 8.12 by game’s end.
Starling Marte hit a two-run single off Kyle Barraclough in the top of the eighth inning that gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead. But Rendon hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
Nick Burdi (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth for his first big league win, and Felipe Vazquez pitched the 10th for his fourth save.
Rendon has six homers after going deep twice for the fifth time in his career. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games and has recorded at least one extra-base hit in the last nine games.
Nationals starter Patrick Corbin struck out 11 and allowed one run in seven innings in his third start since signing a six-year, $140 million contract in December. The left-hander also singled twice, with the first hit tying the game at 1-all in the bottom of the second.
Trevor Williams nearly matched Corbin, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder) and RHP Dovydas Neverauskas (left oblique strain) will have their rehabilitation assignments transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday. Neverauskas threw two scoreless innings at Class A Bradenton, while Polanco was 2 for 13 there with four walks and an RBI in four games.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (sore right leg) had his next start pushed back a day, to Sunday, because of lingering soreness after he was hit with a line drive in last Sunday at the Mets.
“If they needed me to pitch today, I could,” Scherzer said. “I understand, hey look, early in the season, be smart dealing with a leg injury. Leg injuries can turn into shoulder problems in a heartbeat. So I understand where they’re coming from.”
UP NEXT
Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (1-0, 2.45 ERA) makes his first start against Washington since 2015. He has a 2.45 ERA in two career appearances against the Nationals.
Nationals: Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-1, 6.52) swaps places with Scherzer. He’ll pitching on regular rest after allowing 3 runs over 5 2/3 innings on Monday in Philadelphia.
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Eberle, Bailey help Islanders beat Penguins 3-1 in Game 2

 

 

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey scored in the third period and the New York Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Friday night for a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Anthony Beauvillier also scored and Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots to help New York open a postseason series with two wins for the first time since sweeping Edmonton in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final for the Islanders’ fourth straight championship.

Mathew Barzal had two assists in a chippy, physical game that featured a lot of hard hits and some skirmishes, especially in the first two periods — and also after the final buzzer.

Erik Gudbranson scored and Matt Murray finished with 31 saves for the Penguins, who have lost the first two games of a postseason series for the first time since the 2013 Eastern Conference finals against Boston.

Game 3 is Sunday at Pittsburgh.

After a turnover by the Penguins near their own blue line, Barzal sent the puck up to Eberle on the right side and he skated across the front and sent a backhand in at 7:54 of the third to give the Islanders their first lead of the night at 2-1.

Bailey, who had the overtime winner in Game 1 on Wednesday night, then gave New York a two-goal lead with a power-play score with 8:22 remaining on New York’s sixth man-advantage of the night. Devon Toews fired a shot that hit Anders Lee, and the puck came to Bailey, who put it in from the right side.

The Penguins pulled Murray for an extra skater with 2:44 remaining, but couldn’t take advantage. Lehner made a nice glove save on Phil Kessel from the right circle, drawing chants of “Leh-ner! Leh-ner!” from the raucous home crowd.

After a scoreless first period, Pittsburgh’s Matt Cullen had an open look at a rebound from the right circle 1:13 into the second that Lehner stopped with a pad save into his glove.

The Islanders had a 5-on-3 advantage for about a minute in the second period, but couldn’t beat Murray. The Penguins’ goalie then had a diving stop on Matt Martin in front about 7:44 in, and a stick save on a slap sot by Ryan Pulock 10 seconds later.

Brian Dumoulin hit a goalpost for Pittsburgh at about the 9-minute mark.

Gudbranson then gave the Penguins their first lead of the series as he took a pass from Evgeni Malkin and fired a one-timer from straightaway inside the blue line that beat Lehner’s blocker side and went in off the post with 9:24 remaining in the second. It was Gudbranson’s first career playoff point.

Beauvillier tied it with 6:35 left in the period with his first career playoff goal as he knocked in the loose puck in front after Murray was out of position following a save on Barzal’s initial try on a 3-on-2 break

While some of the Islanders began celebrating the goal, fights broke out to Murray’s left. Barzal was given a double-minor for roughing, while Pittsburgh’s Marcus Pettersson received a 2-minute penalty.

The Islanders outshot the Penguins 11-7 in the scoreless first period.

Lehner made a save on Sidney Crosby’s backhand try in front about 4 minutes in. Toews hit the right post with a long slap shot from straightaway from the blue line a little more than 5 minutes later. Phil Kessel was denied on a shot from the left circle with just under 7 minutes remaining

NOTES: Murray has lost consecutive playoff games for the fourth time. He also did it in Games 3 and 4 of 2017 Stanley Cup Final against Nashville, and Games 2-3 and 5-6 against Washington in second round last year. … Penguins F Jared McCann sat out due to an upper-body injury. He was replaced in the lineup by F Teddy Blueger, making his playoff debut. D Jack Johnson was back in the lineup after sitting out Game 1. He had played in all 82 games during the regular season. D Olli Maatta sat out to make room. … The Islanders, who were 3 for 50 on the power play over the final 22 games of the season to finish 29th at 14.5 percent, are now 2 for 8 in this series. … New York was 38-2-2 in regular season when scoring at least 3 goals, and is now 2-0 in playoffs.

UP NEXT

The series shifts Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday night.

Scoring Updates: Penguins vs. Islanders Friday, April 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm.

 

 

 First Second Final 
Pittsburgh Penguins

011
New York Islanders013
GoalsIslanders:
Anthony Beauvillier

Penguins:
Erik Gudbranson
Islanders:
Josh Bailey
Jordan Eberle

Quintana strikes out 11 in 7 innings, Cubs beat Pirate 2-0

Quintana strikes out 11 in 7 innings, Cubs beat Pirate 2-0
By JOHN JACKSON Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — The Cubs were in need of a strong outing by a starter, and Jose Quintana delivered.
The left-hander struck out 11 in seven innings of four-hit ball as Chicago blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 on Thursday night.
Quintana (1-1) bounced back after being roughed up for eight runs and eight hits in three innings against Milwaukee during his first start of the season last Friday. It was the longest outing by a Chicago starter this season.
“That’s as good as we’ve seen him,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That was dominant. Strikeouts, strike throwing. Everything was working.
“He was outstanding, and we needed that.”
Daniel Descalso and Victor Caratini each had two hits and an RBI in a game that was delayed 69 minutes by rain before the eighth inning.
Caratini left after the delay and X-rays indicate the backup catcher might have a broken hamate bone in his left hand. He believes he was injured on a swing, and a CT scan is scheduled for Friday.
“It’s definitely frustrating, especially because I started out the season the way I wanted to,” Caratini said through a translator.
Steve Cishek pitched the eighth and Pedro Strop got three outs for his first save. The Cubs took two of three in their first home series after opening with a 2-7 road trip.
Pirates starter Joe Musgrove (1-1) allowed two unearned runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
“I think the biggest downfall for me was that third time around the lineup, getting behind a lot of hitters,” Musgrove said. “You get behind guys like that, especially the third time around, they know what I like to go to, what’s working for me all game long, so I’m kind of exposed a little bit.”
Because of severe storms predicted to move into the area late Thursday night, the Cubs pushed up the start of the game a half hour. The rain began as Chicago rallied for both runs in the seventh.
With one out, Jason Heyward lifted a pop fly to shallow left field and the strong right-to-left wind blew the ball toward the line. Because of a defensive shift, no Pittsburgh fielder had a clear shot at it. Three players converged and the ball hit off the glove of third baseman Jung Ho Kang in fair territory and fell in.
The play originally was called a double, but was quickly changed to an error on shortstop Erik Gonzalez.
Descalso followed with a single to drive in Heyward for the game’s first run. Descalso went to second on the throw to the plate and scored when the next batter, Caratini, doubled to right-center against Francisco Liriano.
By that point, a steady rain had begun. Shortly after the seventh inning ended, a bolt of lightning flashed in the distance beyond center field and the umpires stopped play.
EARLY EXIT
Maddon was ejected in the bottom of the fifth by plate umpire Mike Estabrook for arguing balls and strikes.
With runners on first and second and one out, Caratini took a low breaking ball on a 3-1 pitch for a strike. After hearing complaints from the Cubs dugout, Estabrook took a few steps down the third base line and held up a hand, essentially saying that was enough.
Maddon walked out and slowly made his way to the home plate area. He was ejected almost immediately after speaking to Estabrook.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Cubs: If the hamate bone in Caratini’s left hand is broken, the fear is surgery could be required and he’d be sidelined four to six weeks. Oddly, Caratini was injured on the first pitch of his at-bat in the seventh. “The first swing I felt a crack, but I felt hot so I kept going,” he said. “Once I got to second base and I took my glove off, I could tell there was something wrong.”
ROSTER MOVES
Pirates: INF Kevin Kramer was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to take the roster spot of SS Kevin Newman, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a lacerated finger on his right hand.
Cubs: RHP Jen-Ho Tseng was released. The 24-year-old from Taiwan had been designated for assignment Saturday.
UP NEXT
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (1-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Washington. LHP Patrick Corbin (0-0, 3.75) starts for the Nationals.
Cubs: LHP Cole Hamels (1-0, 5.73 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game home series against the Angles on Friday afternoon. LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-1, 2.45) goes for Los Angeles.
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BREAKING NEWS!! Tonight’s Pirates vs. Cubs is starting 30 minutes early!!!

Tonight’s Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs game from Wrigley Field in Chicago will be starting 30 minutes earlier at 7:35 p.m. EDT because of weather concerns. Air-time on Beaver County Radio 1230 WBVP and 1460 WMBA will now be at 7:10 p.m. EDT.

The Pirates will have Joe Musgrove  (1-0 0.00 ERA) to the hill against Jose Quintana (0-1 10.29 ERA). This is the rubber match of the three game series that saw the Cubs win game one 10-0 and the Bucs game two 5-2. After tonight’s game the Buccos will move onto Washington for a weekend series against the Nationals.

Lyles sharp, Cervelli and Marte homer, Pirates beat Cubs 5-2

Lyles sharp, Cervelli and Marte homer, Pirates beat Cubs 5-2
By MATT CARLSON Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Jordan Lyles had everything, including a retooled curveball, clicking on a cold, windy night at Wrigley Field.
Lyles struck out 10 in six crisp innings to tie a career high, Francisco Cervelli and Starling Marte homered off Yu Darvish, and the Pittsburgh Pirates topped the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Wednesday.
Lyles (1-0) allowed three hits and was sharp again in his second start, with Jason Heyward’s solo shot in the fifth accounting for the lone run against him. The right-hander walked only one as Pittsburgh bounced back from a 10-0 drubbing in the Cubs’ home opener Monday to win for the fifth time in six games.
“The curveball and changeup were there for me early on, the curveball was there for me throughout the game,” said Lyles, who came up with a new grip for the pitch last season. “Just looking at the numbers, that’s what I have most of my success with — at least damage against — my curveball.”
When Lyles arrived in the majors with the Astros in 2011, he said he was a “60-70% fastball guy.” The 28-year-old has tinkered with his repertoire and it’s paying off.
“We started figuring out what sequences worked best with that curveball, my best pitch,” Lyles said. “So we’re taking that into 2019 and we’re off to a decent start so far.”
Manager Clint Hurdle said Lyles effectively used all his pitches, including the curve, fastball, sinker, changeup and slider.
“The pitch mix worked well, and so far it’s gotten him out of the block really clean,” Hurdle said. “He’s not a guy that you look at the (radar) gun and it’s going to blow you back. There’s angle, there’s deception, and again, he’s got a fastball that plays at the top of the zone.”
Heyward had three hits and Javier Baez drove in run with a double in the eighth, but Felipe Vazquez got the final five outs for his third save in as many chances.
Darvish (0-2) and the Cubs (3-8) continued to struggle on a 40-degree night with the wind blowing in from center field at 20 mph.
Darvish allowed five runs — four earned — and five hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first start at home since May 2, 2018. But the right-hander walked none and struck out four after issuing 11 walks over 6 2/3 innings in his first two outings. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs before the 2018 season, but he made it through only eight starts before being shut down with right triceps tendinitis on May 26.
Despite another loss, manager Joe Maddon and Darvish were encouraged by his improved control.
“He knew where the ball as going and he had really good stuff tonight,” Maddon said. “It seemed like he may have found some things tonight regarding his delivery, the way the ball was coming out of his hand.”
“I threw a lot of strikes with the fastball, that’s why I feel good,” Darvish said. “I’m happy with it but I still gave up the five runs and lose the game.”
Cervelli lined a homer to left-center in the first to put the Pirates ahead 1-0.
Marte turned on a fastball and lofted a two-run shot down the left-field line in the third to make it 3-0.
Heyward’s drive in the fourth cut it to 3-1 and reached the edge of the center-field shrubs despite the steady incoming wind.
The Pirates tacked on two runs and chased Darvish in the sixth. Josh Bell had an RBI single off reliever Kyle Ryan, and Cervelli came home on Ryan’s errant pick-off to first.
APPEALING
RHP Chris Archer is still scheduled to start Saturday against Washington as he awaits a ruling on his appeal of a five-game suspension, Hurdle said. Archer received the penalty for his part in a benches-clearing fracas last weekend against Cincinnati at PNC Park.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon, hit in the head by Anthony Rizzo’s comebacker on Monday, does not have a concussion. Hurdle said Taillon “met all the criteria for the check-ups.” … OF Lonnie Chisenhall (fractured right hand) took batting practice in the indoor cage on Wednesday and is playing catch. … OF Corey Dickerson (right posterior shoulder strain) has resumed batting practice, but is not yet cleared to throw. … C Elias Diaz (virus) played Tuesday and Wednesday night for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester was put on the 10-day injured list (strained left hamstring) retroactive to Tuesday. Injured while scoring from second base on Ben Zobrist’s single in Monday’s home opener, the Cubs ace will miss at least one turn. LHP Tim Collins was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and pitched the ninth.
UP NEXT
Pirates RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00) faces Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (0-1, 10.29) in the series finale Thursday night. Musgrove tossed seven scoreless innings and won his first start last Friday against Cincinnati. Quintana was hammered for eight runs, including three homers, in three innings Friday at Milwaukee.
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Bailey lifts Islanders past Penguins 4-3 in OT in Game 1

 

 

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Bailey scored on a rebound at 4:39 of overtime and the New York Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Wednesday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist, and Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy also scored for New York, which was opening a postseason series at home for the first time in 31 years. Robin Lehner stopped 41 shots.

Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin each had a goal and an assist, and Justin Schultz also scored for the Penguins. Matt Murray finished with 29 saves.

On the winning goal, Barzal brought the puck into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 break, faked in front to draw Murray out and sent a backhand shot that bounced off the left post, but Bailey was there to knock it in.

Game 2 is Friday night back at the Nassau Coliseum.

Tom Kuhnhackl, who had a goal in the opening minute of the game waved off for offside, nearly won it for the Islanders 1:12 into the extra period as he crashed into Murray and the puck crossed the goal line but not before the net came loose. The no-goal was confirmed after a review.

The Islanders led three times in regulation with the Penguins managing to tie it each time.

Leddy gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead with 7:25 left in the third as he sent a long shot from left point at the blue line that knuckled past Murray.

With Murray pulled for an extra skater, Schultz fired a one-timer from the left circle past Lehner inside the left post with 1:29 left as the Penguins tied the score for the third time.

Bailey had a chance at the winner for the Islanders in the closing seconds of the third, but his shot hit the right post. It was the second time in the period a New York player hit a goal post as Matt Martin did it in the opening minute.

Malkin tied it 2-2 on a power play with 6:19 left in the middle period as his shot from the inside edge of the right circle deflected off Islander defenseman Adam Pelech’s stick and up past Lehner.

The raucous crowd that was chanting “Let’s Go Islanders!” from before the teams came out for pregame warmups, roared when the Islanders stepped on the ice and booed loudly when the Penguins followed. They got loud again in the minutes before the teams emerged from their dressing rooms for the start of the game.

Pittsburgh outshot New York 17-12 in the first period, but the Islanders led 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Just more than a minute after Kuhnhackl’s opening-minute goal was overturned, Eberle did give the Islanders the lead as he stopped a deflection of Pelech’s shot, turned and beat Murray through the five-hole from the right side for his first career postseason goal at 1:40.

The Penguins tied it when Dominik Simon brought the puck down the middle and dropped a pass back to Kessel, who put it past Lehner off the post and in at 5:42.

Nelson put the Islanders back in front on the power play as he got a pass in front from Eberle and put it past Murray with 4:14 left in the opening period.

NOTES: Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang are the only Penguins players remaining from the 2013 playoff series against the Islanders. New York has five players left — Nelson, Josh Bailey, Casey Cizikas, Thomas Hickey and Matt Martin. … Kessel also scored in each of the last three games during the regular season. … Malkin’s goal was his 63rd in the playoffs, breaking a tie with Bobby Hull for sole possession of 26th place on the NHL’s career list. … Islanders coach Barry Trotz and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan are facing off in the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The previous three were all in the second round while Trotz was with Washington, and the winner of Penguins-Capitals series went on to win the Stanley Cup each time.

UP NEXT

Game 2 is Friday night before the series shifts to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4.

Scoring Updates: Penguins vs. Islanders Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm.

 

 

 First Second Final 
Pittsburgh Penguins

123
New York Islanders224
GoalsIslanders:
Jordan Eberle (1:40)
Brock Nelson (15:46)

Penguins:
Phil Kessel (5:42)
Penguins:
Evgeni Malkin (13:41)
Islanders:
Nick Leddy (12:35)
Josh Bailey OT (4:39)

Penguins:
Justin Schultz (18:31)

Bucs pitcher Archer suspended for 5 games

Archer suspended for 5 games, Puig for 2, Bell for 1
By The Associated Press undefined
NEW YORK (AP) — Pittsburgh pitcher Chris Archer was suspended for five games, Cincinnati outfielder Yasiel Puig for two and Reds manager David Bell for one on Tuesday for their parts in a bench-clearing fracas last weekend at PNC Park.
The commissioner’s office said Archer has appealed his penalty and will play pending a decision.
Puig and Bell chose not to appeal. Puig will miss the first two games of a series against the Marlins in Cincinnati starting Tuesday night. Bench coach Freddie Benavides will manage the Reds in the first game.
Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre also fined all three for their behavior Sunday in Pittsburgh, which was touched off when Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich stood in the batter’s box to admire his long home run in the second inning.
Two innings later, Archer threw his first pitch behind Dietrich’s waist. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg warned both benches and Bell jogged from the dugout to the infield, arguing Archer should be ejected. Archer maintained he simply was off-target with an inside pitch.
Benches and bullpens emptied, and an enraged Puig barreled into a bunch of Pirates and was restrained by several teammates.
Bell interpreted Archer’s suspension as confirmation that the pitch was purposely meant to hurt Dietrich. Bell said Torre told him that Archer wasn’t ejected by the umpires because he didn’t throw at the batter’s head.
“That to me is a very dangerous approach,” Bell said. “As we know, even if they’re aiming somewhere else, it could hit a hitter right in the head.”
Bell wasn’t surprised by his one-game suspension.
“I was suspended (because) things escalated when I came out,” Bell said. “Clearly both benches cleared, which is unfortunate.”
Puig declined to appeal his suspension because he thought it wouldn’t make a difference. He wasn’t satisfied with Archer getting a five-day suspension, which means the starter would miss one appearance at most.
“The pitcher’s going to be suspended for five days, that’s not costing him nothing because no matter what he’s going to rest for five days,” Puig said. “It cost me two games.”
Bell doesn’t agree with the old-school practice of a pitcher retaliating when they think a hitter has showed them up by lingering too long or doing something theatrical after hitting a home run.
“Major League Baseball needs to take this out of their hands if the players try to police it,” Bell said. “That’s a dangerous approach.”
___
AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati contributed to this report.
___
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