Major League Baseball has announced that Houston Astros reliever Bryan Abreu lost his appeal of the two-game suspension he was issued over the weekend for intentionally hitting Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia in Game 5 of the ALCS.
That suspension, however, won't impact Abreu's availability for the rest of the postseason. He will instead serve his two-game suspension in the first two games of next season, the league announced Monday.
A decision has been rendered by the arbitrator regarding the appeal for Bryan Abreu’s discipline. His two-game suspension has been upheld, and it will be served during the first two games to begin MLB’s 2024 season. #ALCS #Postseason
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) October 23, 2023
Abreu plunked Garcia on the arm in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 5, just a few innings after Garcia hit a three-run home run and boisterously celebrated in his home ballpark. Garcia immediately turned around to confront catcher Martin Maldonado after he was hit, assuming Maldonado had called for Abreu to hit him.
The benches cleared, and players began getting into it, though no punches were thrown.
Benches have cleared in Arlington. pic.twitter.com/F1abofICpX
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 20, 2023
The umpires had a confab and ejected Abreu after unanimously agreeing that he intentionally hit Garcia. MLB agreed and handed down a two-game suspension Saturday. Garcia, Rangers reliever Matt Bush and Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. were fined undisclosed amounts for their roles in the kerfuffle, and Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined for his postgame comments.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Monday that some Astros players and club officials are upset at MLB for showing what they believe is "favoritism" toward the Rangers. Their reported view is that Garcia should also have been suspended for making contact with Maldonado, and that the league is playing favorites with the Rangers because their GM, Chris Young, worked for MLB from 2018 to 2020 deciding suspensions and fines for on-field matters. Neither MLB nor Young has commented.
While the suspension was upheld, the Astros will have Abreu available the rest of the way this fall. The Astros take on the Rangers on Monday in Game 7 of their series, with a trip to the World Series on the line.