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Sports

AFP
July 18, 2019

Astros say Angels 'escalating' row after Marisnick hit by pitch

Sports

AFP
Thu, Jul 18, 2019

LOS ANGELES: Houston Astros president Jeff Luhnow on Wednesday demanded Major League Baseball take action after Jake Marisnick was struck by a fastball from Los Angeles Angels pitcher Noe Ramirez in what seemed to be a continuation of a feud.

Outfielder Marisnick was hit by a 90mph (145kph) pitch on Tuesday as he faced the Angels for the first time since returning from a two-game suspension for a collision which injured their catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Angry Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Ramirez's pitch -- which flew close to Marisnick's head before striking him on the shoulder -- was an act of retaliation.

Luhnow told Houston radio station KBME-AM on Wednesday that baseball authorities should consider sanctions following the incident.

"It's BS that the ball was thrown up," Luhnow said of the high pitch. "When there's retaliation like that and the ball is thrown up I think there needs to some price to pay, and not from us, but from Major League Baseball."

Luhnow insisted Marisnick's base-running collision with Lucroy earlier this month, which left the Angels catcher requiring surgery to repair a broken nose, was accidental.

"He had no intention of running over Jason Lucroy, it was an accident, and unfortunately he was injured," Luhnow said.

"For whatever reason MLB decided to suspend him. Both teams were talked to and told not to escalate it. And last night it escalated."

Astros skipper Hinch was also unhappy that the umpires did not punish Ramirez. He said after Tuesday's game the team had expected Marisnick to be targeted, complaining that the Angels had been given a "free shot" at the player.

"Wasn't everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?" Hinch asked.

"I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot...They got a free shot at him with no warning, no ejection.

"We'll see if there's discipline, and without discipline, there's not going to be any issue doing it the next time. So if retaliations are in, cool. We're well aware."

Marisnick tried to cool tempers on the field after the incident and declined to say whether he believed Ramirez targeted him deliberately.

"I'm not the pitcher, you'll have to ask him," Marisnick said.

Ramirez denied he was attempting to hit Marisnick. "That's the last thing I was trying to do," he said.