Astros’ Hector Neris receives a reduced suspension

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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After receiving a four-game suspension from Major League Baseball last week, Astros’ reliever Hector Neris will start a reduced suspension Tuesday.

Hector Neris’ four-game suspension was reduced to three games Tuesday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reported. The Houston Astros‘ reliever was tacked with four games, which he appealed, following an ejection against the Seattle Mariners on June 6.

Neris received a warning for plunking Ty France, as the benches cleared soon after. The righty surrendered a home run to Julio Rodriguez, before throwing at Eugenio Suarez two batters later. The right-hander has pitched 2.1 innings since his ejection, yielding three runs on three hits with one walk.

Over five appearances in June, the 33-year-old is seeing his worst run of play for the Astros. Neris has a 13.50 ERA in four innings pitched, moving his season ERA to 3.76. And in his last 15 trips to the mound, Neris has allowed 10 runs in 13.1 innings pitched.

The Astros can’t replace Neris on the 26-man roster, leaving the team at 25 players — seven bullpen arms — for the next three games which includes two against the Texas Rangers and one against the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

Neris is expected to return to the staff Saturday, but his struggles Monday led to the Astros using Phil Maton for 12 pitches to clean up the eighth. There’s a strong chance Maton is still available Tuesday, while Ryne Stanek is likely the only active arm down after throwing 22 pitches Monday.

Among other relievers available, Rafael Montero last pitched Saturday, throwing a season-high 30 pitches, while Bryan Abreu hasn’t seen the rubber since Friday when he totaled 25 pitches over two scoreless innings.

Brandon Bielak and Seth Martinez both haven’t pitched since Wednesday, offering long relief if needed to back up Jose Urquidy on Tuesday.

Jeremy Peña heads to Houston for further evaluation regarding an injury sustained Monday.

Peña made a diving attempt in the third inning Monday, awkwardly falling on his wrist, and although staying in the contest, the rookie was sent back to Houston for further testing by team doctors, McTaggart reported. Manager Dusty Baker told reporters it wasn’t a wrist injury, while the club would not disclose any further information.

Rehabbing right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Lance McCullers Jr. both threw bullpens Tuesday, according to McTaggart. Odorizzi continued fielding drills off the mound at 70%, while McCullers touched 90 mph, mixing in three off-speed pitches.

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