NEW YORK (AP) Tyler Austin’s suspension was cut from five games to four by John McHale Jr., a special assistant to baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, and the New York first baseman will start serving the penalty on Friday when the Yankees open a series at the Los Angeles Angels.
Austin was disciplined for his role in a brawl with AL East rival Boston on April 11 at Fenway Park. Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly threw at Austin twice in the seventh inning of that night’s game, missing with the first attempt but hitting Austin on the side with the second. Austin charged the mound.
”I obviously don’t want to be suspended at any point in time, but it’s happened, we’ve got to deal with it and move forward,” Austin said after Thursday’s 4-3 win over Minnesota. ”I’m happy they knocked one game down. I’m thankful for that.”
Kelly’s appeal of a six-game suspension was denied Thursday by McHale.
New York has won six straight, and Austin is batting .350 with three homers and nine RBIs in his last five games, raising his average to .290.
”The timing’s not perfect, obviously. He’s been a really important player for us,” manager Aaron Boone said. ”We’re getting ready to go to Anaheim where we’re going to face two lefties, and we really like him against lefties obviously.”
Neil Walker should see more playing time in Austin’s absence. The 32-year-old is hitting .172 with no home runs and three RBIs in 64 at-bats.
”It’ll be good,” Walker said. ”I haven’t gotten off to the start that I’ve wanted to and, hopefully, I’ll get on a roll here.”
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