Dodgers' Joe Kelly has suspension reduced to five games on appeal

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Los Angeles Dodgersreliever Joe Kellyhad his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads ofHouston Astroshitters reduced to five games on appeal, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Kelly was penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, one day after his erratic pitches and demonstrative taunts sparked a benches-clearing situation at Minute Maid Park in Houston.The game marked the first time that the Dodgers and Astros had met since it was revealed that Houston stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title that came at the Dodgers' expense.

Kelly threw a 3-0, 96 mph fastball behind the head of Astros third baseman Alex Bregman with one out and none on in the sixth. Later in the inning, he threw two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa. After striking out Correa, Kelly made pouty faces at Correa and shared some choice words with the Astros' shortstop, prompting both benches to clear.

The MLB Players Association said Wednesday night that it was dismayed by the length of Kelly's ban.

"While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we're disappointed by the decision," the union said. "It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Roberts had called Kelly's original suspension "too aggressive" and said he "completely" agreed with the decision to appeal. Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock said he believed the suspension to be "very, very harsh."

Kelly denied that he purposefully threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended for throwing at a batter.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Sunday because of right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB's senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.

ESPN's Alden Gonzalez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.