Umpire Joe West left Thursday’s game between the Nationals and Blue Jays following the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff batter Bo Bichette appeared to make contact with West’s facemask on his backswing after offering at an Erick Fedde fastball. West was clearly bleeding on the side of his face.
West exited the game and Vic Carapazza took over as the home plate umpire. The remainder of Thursday’s game will be manned by three umpires.
When play resumed, Bichette doubled and later scored on a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. single that dropped in shallow left field, giving the Jays an early 1-0 lead. Fedde is starting in place of Stephen Strasburg, who is dealing with nerve irritation.
West’s status should be known later tonight or tomorrow. It didn’t look serious but you can never be too careful with head injuries, though West might argue otherwise.
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.