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Dodgers’ Joe Kelly has suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal, sources say
6:21 PM ET
  • ESPN News Services

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston Astros hitters 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 Correa out, Kelly made pouty faces at Correa and shared some choice words with the Astros’ shortstop, prompting both benches to clear.

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 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.

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