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Twins pitcher, manager suspended for throwing behind White Sox’ Yermin Mercedes

Twins reliever Tyler Duffey received a three-game suspension and undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch behind Yermín Mercedes.

Tyler Duffey of the Twins argues with umpire Chad Whitson after being ejected for throwing a pitch behind Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Tyler Duffey of the Twins argues with umpire Chad Whitson after being ejected for throwing a pitch behind Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox Tuesday in Minneapolis.
David Berding/Getty Images

Twins reliever Tyler Duffey received a three-game suspension and undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch behind White Sox designated hitter Yermín Mercedes during the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game at Target Field.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine as a result of Duffey’s actions. Baldelli is serving his suspension in the second game of a doubleheader today against the Angels in Anaheim.

Duffey’s suspension was set to begin today but he will appeal.

The pitch was an apparent act of retaliation for Mercedes swinging on 3-0 and hitting a homer in the ninth inning of a 16-4 Sox victory the night before. Sox manager Tony La Russa apologized to Baldelli, saying it was sportsmanlike for Mercedes — who was given a take sign — to swing.

“We got that feeling from across the dugout that Tony and some people in the dugout were not pleased with what was going on,” Baldelli said before the Twins’ 5-4 victory during which Duffey was ejected. “And the message did get to me, and again, I appreciate that message. I’ll tell you this — there’s one thing acknowledging it, and that’s appreciated, but it doesn’t quell all of the emotions from all the guys in the clubhouse, in and of itself. That’s just the case of it, that’s how things go in this game.”

After Mercedes was thrown at, La Russa didn’t take issue talking about it after the game.

“That’s the umpire’s opinion. It wasn’t obvious to me,” La Russa said. “The guy threw a sinker. It didn’t look good. So, I wasn’t that suspicious. I’m suspicious if somebody throws at somebody’s head. I don’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that.”

Michael Hill, Major League Baseball’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, made the announcement.