MLB notebook: Oakland Athletics OF Matt Joyce suspended

By The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 5, 2017 at 9:39 PM
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Major League Baseball suspended Matt Joyce for two games without pay on Saturday, one day after the Oakland Athletics outfielder yelled a gay slur at a fan.

Joyce's lost salary will be donated to PFLAG National, a LGBTQ advocacy organization, the league announced.

Joyce, who issued a public apology earlier on Saturday over Twitter, also will participate in a public outreach initiative with PFLAG National.

The Athletics released a statement Saturday in which they termed Joyce's language as "unacceptable" and said it will "not be tolerated."

The exchange occurred in the eighth inning of the Angels' 8-6 win after Los Angeles first baseman C.J. Cron made a diving stop of Joyce's grounder.

--Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman lost his spot in the starting rotation, manager Buck Showalter announced before their game against the Detroit Tigers.

Tillman is 1-7 with an 8.10 ERA in 15 starts this season. He was just hammered by the Tigers in his most recent start on Aug. 3 for seven runs (five earned) and six hits in two innings. Tillman has not won since his first start of the season on May 7.

"We are trying to figure out some way to get him back (pitching well)," Showalter said. "Ubaldo (Jimenez) seemed to find a way to make a (demotion to the bullpen) productive. I know Chris will, too."

Tillman will be available for the Orioles out of the bullpen starting with Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Tigers.

--The San Francisco Giants called up third baseman Pablo Sandoval after placing first baseman Brandon Belt on the seven-day concussion list.

Belt was hit in the head by a 78-mph curveball from Arizona rookie left-hander Anthony Banda leading off the sixth inning in Friday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Belt turned away from the high pitch and was struck in the helmet. He went to the ground and appeared to be dazed.

Belt experienced two previous concussions since arriving in the majors and one in college at the University of Texas. He leads the Giants in home runs (18), extra-base hits (48) and runs (63).

The 30-year-old Sandoval rejoined the organization last month after the Boston Red Sox released him. He signed a minor league contract with the Giants on July 22 and apologized about the way he left San Francisco three years ago.

--The Seattle Mariners placed right-hander Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.

Hernandez was scheduled to start in Kansas City against the Royals. The move is retroactive to Aug. 2.

Seattle will now start left-hander Marco Gonzales, who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to make his Mariners debut.

Hernandez, 31, is 5-4 with a 4.28 ERA over 73 2/3 innings with 69 strikeouts and 21 walks in 13 starts with the Mariners this season.

--Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw left their game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the second inning after being hit in the side of the neck by a throw on a stolen-base attempt.

Shaw stole second base, but Rays catcher Jesus Sucre's throw knocked his helmet off as he slid into the base. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria's glove also hit the side of his face, and Shaw remained on his back for several minutes as trainers attended to him.

Shaw walked off the field under his own power and was replaced by Hernan Perez, who pinch-ran for him and took over at third base.

Shaw has 24 home runs and a team-leading 74 RBIs in his first season with the Brewers, who acquired him in a trade from the Boston Red Sox in December for reliever Tyler Thornburg.

--The Boston Red Sox activated right-hander Joe Kelly from the 10-day disabled list prior to their game against the Chicago White Sox.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the team optioned right-hander Austin Maddox to Triple-A Pawtucket following Friday night's game.

Kelly, 29, returned from his injury rehab assignment with Pawtucket. He was placed on the DL on July 15 with a left hamstring strain. He made one rehab appearance at Triple-A, tossing a perfect seventh inning on Wednesday against Syracuse.

Maddox, 26, has not allowed a run or walked a batter in three appearances over three major league stints this season, the first of his career. He has surrendered three hits with one strikeout in 3 2/3 innings, most recently throwing 1 2/3 scoreless frames in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees on July 16.

--The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league infielder Connor Joe.

The Pirates also claimed right-handed relief pitcher George Kontos off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

This will be Rodriguez's second stint with the Pirates. He hit a combined .260 with 28 doubles, 22 home runs and 73 RBIs in 279 games between 2015-16 with Pittsburgh after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in a December 2014 trade.

Last year with the Pirates, Rodriguez set career highs in gamed played (140), home runs (18), RBIs (56), batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.349), slugging percentage (.510) and OPS (.859).

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