Abreu suspended, fined for throwing at García

October 22nd, 2023

HOUSTON -- Astros reliever  received a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally hitting the Rangers’ Adolis García with a pitch, MLB announced on Saturday. 

Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for on-field operations, made the announcement.

Abreu hit García in the left shoulder with a 99 mph fastball -- the first pitch of the at-bat -- in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on Friday. That sparked a benches-clearing incident as García immediately confronted Astros catcher Martín Maldonado.

“My plan was to get the ball up and in, then slider down and away,” Abreu said after the game. “I just missed the pitch.”

According to the league’s statement, all six of the umpires deemed Abreu’s throw intentional. The Astros pitcher was immediately ejected, along with García and Houston manager Dusty Baker.

Baker and García were later fined, as were Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. and Rangers pitcher Matt Bush. McCullers and Bush will not be allowed to sit in the dugout for the remainder of the ALCS.

The incident occurred in García’s first at-bat following his three-run home run off Justin Verlander that put the Rangers ahead in the sixth, when García spiked his bat and began a long trot around the bases.

“The guy hits a three-run homer; the next time up, he gets smoked there,” said Rangers manager Bruce Bochy. “I'd be upset, too, if I was Doli.” 

Houston went on to win the game, 5-4, thanks to a three-run homer by Jose Altuve in the top of the ninth. The Astros have a 3-2 lead in the series.

Abreu has elected to appeal the two-game suspension. He will be permitted to remain on the active roster and pitch in the postseason while appealing.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a hearing involving a suspension for conduct on the playing field or in the ballpark during the postseason will be heard within 48 hours of receipt of the appeal.