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Marlins’ Urena appeals penalty for hitting Acuna, can play

August 17, 2018
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Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) stands between pitcher Jose Urena (62) and Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker (43) as the dugouts empty after Urena hit Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018m in Atlanta. Marlins' Derek Dietrich (32) and Braves' Ender Inciarte argue at right. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena is appealing his six-game suspension for intentionally hitting Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves with a pitch.

Urena was in uniform Friday and Marlins manager Don Mattingly didn’t rule out using him this weekend against the Washington Nationals.

Major League Baseball announced the suspension and undisclosed fine Thursday, a day after Urena hit Acuna on the left arm with his first pitch in the Marlins’ 5-2 loss in Atlanta. Urena is eligible to play until the appeal process is complete.

“When I saw I hit a guy, I feel bad,” Urena said Friday. “I said something: ‘Hey, you’ll be OK.’ I said it in Spanish.”

The 20-year-old Acuna went into the game having homered in five straight games, including four homers in the three games against Miami — three of them leading off.

“I talked to him right after the game,” Mattingly said of Urena. “He said he was trying to run the ball close to him and that’s exactly what he told me. I just relay what he told me because we talked about it.”

The 25-year-old Urena, from the Dominican Republic, is 3-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 24 starts.

Acuna was back in the lineup for the Braves on Thursday night against Colorado. He went 1 for 4 with a stolen base.

“One thing I was happy about is that the kid’s all right,” Mattingly said.

If Urena pitched this weekend and then dropped his appeal on Monday, he would miss Miami’s series at home against the Braves on Aug. 23-26.

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