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Royals pitcher Ventura has suspension cut to 8 games

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has started serving his suspension after it was cut from nine games to eight.

Major League Baseball and the Royals announced Ventura would begin sitting out Saturday night when Kansas City hosts Detroit.

Ventura was originally suspended nine games for his role in a bench-clearing brawl June 7 at Baltimore.

Ventura twice brushed back Manny Machado, then hit him in the back with a 99 mph fastball. Machado charged the mound and swung at Ventura, and they wrestled on the ground. Ventura also hit Machado with a pitch last September.

Last year, Ventura incited three incidents during games in April. He was suspended seven games for one of them.

In two starts since the altercation in Baltimore, Ventura is 2-0. He threw 6 1-3 scoreless innings Friday night to beat the Detroit Tigers.

Ventura will be eligible for reinstatement on June 28 against the St Louis Cardinals if the Royals don’t have any rainouts before then.

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: