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Molina, Lovullo each suspended 1 game for weekend fracas

April 11, 2018

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo gestures at St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as he argues balls and strikes with home plate umpire Tim Timmons in the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis, Mo. Molina took offense to Lovullo's comments which led to a bench-clearing scuffle at home plate. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was in the lineup Tuesday night, hours after he drew a one-game suspension for a dustup with Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo over the weekend.

Lovullo was suspended one game and also fined by Major League Baseball.

Molina, who bumped plate umpire Tim Timmons during the bench-clearing dispute Sunday, appealed the ban. He started against Milwaukee and can continue to play until the process is complete.

“We were hopeful that, especially with the report that we had from the umpire’s comments, that it wouldn’t carry over,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “But it has and now we’ll have to deal with it.”

As for Molina appealing, “I don’t blame him,” Matheny said. “I probably would have done the same thing.”

Lovullo was missing Tuesday night’s game at San Francisco, with former manager Jerry Narron filling in for him. Lovullo had yet to decide where to watch the game but planned to stay at the ballpark.

Lovullo spoke earlier in the day with MLB executive Joe Torre, who explained the suspension.

“I support that, I agree with it, I made some mistakes,” Lovullo said. “I’m passionate. I do things because of that passion that might be done the wrong way. And I said the wrong things and I think that led to the whole thing. I have to serve the suspension and I will do it.”

The flap occurred in the second inning at Busch Stadium. Lovullo argued with Timmons, saying a called third strike on Arizona’s A.J. Pollock was influenced by the All-Star catcher’s pitch framing.

Lovullo used a profanity that set off Molina, who charged toward the manager. Molina made contact with Timmons while lunging toward Lovullo.

Molina remained in the game. Lovullo was ejected.

“I was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes,” Lovullo said. “I want to just set the record straight that was not arguing anything about pitch framing, nothing to do with that. The reputation that Yadi’s earned, because he’s one of the best in the game for getting balls that are completely out of the zone, pitch framing is keeping strikes strikes. Balls that are out of the zone and going too far off the edges of the plate was frustrating me.”

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