Major League Baseball Blue Jays reliever Ryan Boruki has been suspended for three games for “intentionally hitting Kevin Kiermeyer of Tampa Bay Race with a pitch during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Trumpicana Field.” Baruki also received an undisclosed fine. He is applying for a stay, so he will remain on the active roster until that appeal is heard.
As usual, Toronto manager Charlie Montoya has been suspended for one game and fined an unknown amount for Baruki’s activities. Montoya will complete his ban on Thursday night, missing a match against the twins.
With Ays-1 leading the race in Wednesday night’s game, Boruki hit Kiermeyer in the back with the first pitch fastball. The benches are cleared, and Buruki is sent off by third base umpire Joe West while the freaks are sorted. After the game, Baruki denied that he had intentionally hit Kiermeyer, claiming that the ball had slipped out of his hands (via ESPN).
The incident happened just two days after Kiermeyer became the focus of controversy between the two clubs. During Monday’s game, Kiermeyer was thrown to the home plate in an attempt to score on a Jake Lamb throw error. The play ends the innings and the Blue Jays leave the field. Sitting next to the home plate, Kiermeyer picked up a game-plan card that Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk (Video by Arash Madani of Sportsnet). Kiermeyer took the card to the Tampa Bay dugout.
It’s not clear if Kiermeyer was aware of what was going on when he picked up the card. After the game, Ray Center Fielder told reporters that he initially believed it was his own game-plan card, which he kept in his pocket during the game to help his position in defense. Annoyed by some people in the Toronto company, Kiermeyer refused to return the card to Blue Jess. That bad blood was apparently carried in Wednesday’s game.
The Ray and Jays are not scheduled to play each other again this season, but it is possible that they will meet in the playoffs. Tampa Bay entered the game Thursday night with a 2.5-game advantage over the Astros for the top seed in the American League. If they hold that position, they will face the winner of the AL wild-card game in their division series. In the race for the final AL wild-card spot, the Toronto Yankees entered the game Thursday night, trailing by half.