Astros outfielder Marisnick gets two-game collision ban

New York (AFP) –


Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball on Thursday after colliding with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Marisnick appealed the punishment for the home-plate play in a game Sunday and was thus active for Houston's game Thursday against the Texas Rangers.

On the key play, Marisnick was ruled out for violating a rule preventing runners from deviating from the base path to make contact with a fielder.

"After thoroughly reviewing the play from all angles, I've concluded that Jake's actions warrant discipline," said Joe Torre, MLB's chief baseball officer.

"While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision."

The crucial play came in the eighth inning of Houston's 11-10 home victory over the Angels when George Springer lofted a fly ball to Angels rightfielder Kole Calhoun.

Calhoun threw the ball to home plate to try and prevent Marisnick from scoring, but the angle of the toss brought Lucroy in front of home plate while Marisnick took a line inside the baseline path to the plate.

Marisnick slammed into Lucroy, resulting in a concussion and broken nose for the Angels catcher. Even though the ball got away, Marisnick was ruled out for not taking an indirect route home. An Astros challenge on the play was denied.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus, a former catcher, called for a suspension. Marisnick denied deliberately running at Lucroy, saying after the game he made "a split-second decision at full speed to slide headfirst on the inside part of the plate."

"That decision got another player hurt and I feel awful," Marisnick tweeted.