Nationals’ Jason Marquis, D-backs’ Esmerling Vazquez suspended

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It was a very calm first two months for the MLB discpline department, so apparently Joe Torre and company are making up for lost time.

The Nationals’ Jason Marquis drew a five-game suspension today for throwing at the Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton in Sunday’s game.  Arizona’s Esmerling Vazquez got three games for retaliating as a result of throwing at Danny Espinosa two innings later.

The two managers, Jim Riggleman and Kirk Gibson, were also suspended one game apiece.  Those two suspensions will be served tonight.  The players will appeal.

All four were also fined undisclosed amounts.

Both teams had already been issued warnings before the incidents that led to the player suspensions, so the managerial suspensions were pretty much automatic.  Marquis, though, has denied that he had any intention of throwing at Upton in the sixth, literally pointing to the fact that it was a 1-0 game at the time (he actually motioned to the scoreboard after being tossed).

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera leaves with forearm tightness

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The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.

Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball.  Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him  “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”

Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.

Albert Pujols sets the all-time record for home runs by a foreign-born player

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Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.

Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:

”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”

After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).