Cleveland Guardians All-Star third baseman José Ramírez had his MLB suspension for fighting with Chicago’s Tim Anderson reduced from three games to two on Saturday.
Ramírez, who knocked Anderson to the ground with a wild, well-placed punch, will serve the suspension this weekend during Cleveland’s series in Tampa Bay.
“Not having him for 10 minutes isn’t fun, let alone two (games),” Guardians manager Terry Francona said before Saturday’s game with the Rays. “But I’m glad it’s two instead of three. We got the final verdict this morning.”
Without Ramírez in the lineup, the Guardians wasted a strong performance by rookie starter Gavin Williams, losing 6-5. Williams struck out 10 in five innings.
Ramírez will also sit for Sunday’s series finale.
Anderson was suspended six games for fighting with Ramirez near second base and triggering a benches-clearing melee on Aug. 5 between the Guardians and White Sox that went on for several minutes and included several other flareups.
MLB handed out its punishment two days after the brawl, but Ramírez continued playing this week until his appeal could be heard. Anderson also appealed his suspension.
Ramírez is hitting .156 (5 or 32) in 10 games this month.
“I told him, I said ‘Hey, take a breath’ because he really didn’t get an All-Star break,” Francona said. “He went to Seattle (for the All-Star Game). Hopefully this will be really good for him, and we’ll try to make do without him, which isn’t fun.”
Gabriel Arias started at third base on Saturday.
Francona, third base coach Mike Sarbaugh and closer Emmanuel Clase were all suspended one game. Chicago manager Pedro Frifol also was suspended a game.
One of baseball’s best all-around players, Ramírez is batting .282 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs in 113 games. He’ll likely be back in Cleveland’s lineup on Tuesday, when the Guardians, who trail first-place Minnesota by 3 1/2 games in the AL Central, open a two-game series in Cincinnati.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb