TORONTO – Toronto pitcher Aaron Sanchez was suspended for three games and manager John Gibbons for one for their roles in Sunday’s brawling game between the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals.
Major League Baseball on Tuesday also fined Sanchez an undisclosed sum for intentionally throwing at Alcides Escobar with warnings in place during the top of the eighth inning of Toronto’s 7-6 win. Sanchez contends his pitch just got away.
Gibbons was missing Tuesday night’s home game against Minnesota. He was disciplined for coming back on the field when the benches cleared following Sanchez’s pitch. Gibbons already had been ejected in the seventh inning.
Sanchez’s suspension was to start Monday night. If he appeals, his penalties will be held until the matter is settled.
Sanchez was ejected by umpire Jim Wolf, who had put a warning in place in the first inning when Royals starter Edison Volquez hit Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson.
“If I wanted to send a message I would’ve sent a message to their big guys,” Sanchez said after the game. “I think it was kind of crap, but we’ll move on. We got a ‘W.’”
The Blue Jays did not like the way Wolf handled the game. After issuing the warning in the first, the Jays were upset when reliever Ryan Madson wasn’t tossed for hitting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the forearm in the seventh inning.
Donaldson got buzzed in the next at-bat, which led to Gibbons’ ejection.
“I have a lot of respect for him behind the plate. I don’t think he made a lot of the right decisions today,” Donaldson, referring to Wolf, said after the game. “That’s what you end up getting out of it – games like that, you get bench clearing, when it never even had to go that route.”