By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Mets manager Buck Showalter was suspended for Monday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves after Major League Baseball determined New York reliever Yoan López intentionally threw at Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber the previous night.
López, optioned to Triple-A Syracuse following Sunday night’s victory, received a three-game ban that starts whenever he returns to the active big league roster. If he appeals, the penalty would be delayed until the process is completed.
Michael Hill, baseball’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, announced the discipline about 20 minutes before the first pitch of New York’s game against World Series champion Atlanta at Citi Field — the initial meeting this season between the NL East rivals.
Bench coach Glenn Sherlock, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and hitting coach Eric Chávez were set to fill in for Showalter, who also missed a game last month for a medical procedure.
In his first season with the team, Showalter had guided the Mets to a 16-7 record — best in the National League — heading into Monday night.
Showalter was suspended for one game and fined. López also was fined an undisclosed amount by the commissioner’s office “for intentionally throwing pitches” at Schwarber in the ninth inning of New York’s 10-6 win Sunday night.
Mets star Francisco Lindor had been hit in the thigh by a 93 mph pitch from Phillies reliever Cristopher Sánchez in the eighth. The next inning, an inside pitch from López to Schwarber prompted umpires to warn both teams.
Schwarber eventually grounded out. López then plunked Alec Bohm with a 1-2 changeup, but was not ejected.
López also wound up at the center of a dustup during his Mets debut last week in St. Louis when he threw high and tight to Cardinals star Nolan Arenado after New York infielder J.D. Davis was drilled by a pitch in the ankle.
The benches and bullpens cleared for a rough skirmish on the field, but López was merely fined that time “for contributing to the incitement of the incident.” Arenado was handed a two-game suspension and fined, and Cardinals pitcher Génesis Cabrera was given a one-game suspension and fined for their actions in the scuffle.
Mets batters have been hit by pitches a major league-leading 20 times this season, drawing the ire of Showalter and several players.
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