Dodgers pitcher Kelly has suspension reduced to five games

FILE PHOTO: Aug 3, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) pitches during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly’s suspension for throwing a pitch near the head of a Houston Astros batter and taunting another was reduced from eight games to five, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team said on Wednesday.

Kelly, 32, was penalized after throwing a 96 mile per hour fastball that sailed over Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory at Minute Maid Park last month.

He also exchanged words and made faces at Astros shortstop Carlos Correa after striking him out.

The MLB’s players union said it was extremely disappointed with the five-game ban.

“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re extremely disappointed by the decision,” a union official was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.

“It was an unfair result for Kelly given the cases presented.”

Kelly, who is currently on the injured list, will serve his suspension when he returns.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs