ARLINGTON, Texas -- Houston Astros right-hander Hector Neris began serving a reduced suspension Tuesday night, a week after his ejection from a game in which he plunked one Seattle Mariners batter and nearly hit another in the head.
Neris was initially suspended four games by Major League Baseball for his actions in a June 6 game against the Mariners. The reliever appealed, and a settlement reduced the discipline to three games without the case going to a hearing.
The Astros are not permitted to replace Neris on the active roster during his suspension, which began with their game against the Texas Rangers. The pitcher, who has made an American League-high 29 appearances, will be reinstated before Saturday's home game against the Chicago White Sox.
Astros manager Dusty Baker, who was also ejected from that game against the Mariners, served a one-game suspension last week. Baker and Neris were also fined undisclosed amounts.
MLB also fined Astros coaches Joe Espada, Omar Lopez and Troy Snitker, as well as Mariners manager Scott Servais.
In the ninth inning June 6, Neris hit Ty France with a pitch that nearly went all the way behind the right-handed hitter. Servais began shouting from the bench, then led his team onto the field to confront the Astros near home plate. Servais and Baker pushed and shoved, while Servais pointed repeatedly at Lopez, the Astros' first-base coach. Both Servais and Lopez were ejected following the fracas.
Umpires warned both teams after the melee. Neris then threw a pitch behind the head of Eugenio Suarez. That led to automatic ejections for Neris and Baker, who has denied that Neris intentionally threw at either player.