Kansas City Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera has been suspended five games and fined an undisclosed amount for his actions in this past weekend's series against the Oakland Athletics, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday. Teammate Yordano Ventura was suspended seven games and also fined an undisclosed amount.
Herrera was thrown out of Sunday's 4-2 win over Oakland for throwing behind Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie. The reliever appeared to be retaliating for Oakland starter Scott Kazmir hitting Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain with a pitch in the first inning. Overall, five members of the Royals were thrown out of Sunday's game, including manager Ned Yost.
“I don’t mean to hurt anybody,” Herrera told reporters. “I was just trying to throw inside, but just a bad grip on that fastball. It started raining pretty good. And they just tossed me out of the game.”
Jane Lee of MLB.com provided Lawrie's reaction:
Joe Stiglich of CSN California provided comments from Josh Reddick:
Prior to the announcement of the suspension, Scott Miller of Bleacher Report weighed in on Herrera's actions:
Sunday was over the top. Kelvin Herrera throwing a 99 mph fastball behind Lawrie was beyond the pale, but when he pointed to his head as if to warn the A's of what would happen next, that's not OK, and it should draw a significant suspension. Yes, Scott Kazmir had hit Lorenzo Cain in the foot during the first inning, drawing a warning from the umpires and beginning an Ejection Festival that saw Royals manager Ned Yost, pitching coach Dave Eiland and bench coach Don Wakamatsu get sent to the showers early.
But there is a fine line between having your teammates' back and hurting your team by getting yourself suspended. Herrera crossed it.
Tempers were running high throughout the three-game series. On Friday, Lawrie sprained the left knee of Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar on a hard slide into second base. Ventura was thrown out of Saturday's game in the fourth inning for beaning Lawrie.
“We stick up for each other,” Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said, per McCullough. “We’re a family in here. No matter if we’re wrong or right, it doesn’t matter for us, we’re going to stick together as a team.”
MLB has not yet announced any punishment for Kazmir.
The Royals will have to dig into their pitching depth to hold them over while Herrera, who hasn't allowed a run and has three holds in six appearances this season, serves his ban.
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