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Pirates, Rockies benches empty

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Tempers flared between the Pirates and Rockies during Wednesday night’s game at PNC Park. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Rockies leading 3-0, starter German Marquez clearly unintentionally hit Francisco Cervelli with a first-pitch fastball.

There had been no prior offense from either team. While Cervelli stared at Marquez for a brief second, home plate umpire Chris Conroy was already in front of the plate, ready to stop anything from happening. However, catcher Tony Wolters started talking to Cervelli. Cervelli didn’t like what Wolters was saying. Botch teams’ benches and bullpens emptied, but nothing happened beyond some terse words being exchanged.

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The three-game set between the two teams ended on Wednesday night. The Pirates and Rockies won’t meet again until after the All-Star break for a three-game weekend series in Colorado, so we’ll have to wait over a month to see if any grudges are held.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

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.