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Astros’ Hector Neris stomps toward and yells at Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez after strikeout

Astros’ Hector Neris stomps toward and yells at Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez after strikeout
  • PublishedSeptember 28, 2023

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The Houston Astros got a major boost in their American League Wild Card hopes Wednesday night with an 8-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners, but it did not come without some divisional tensions.

The AL West rivals had a heated moment in the sixth inning.

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Hector Neris held back

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris, #50, gestures to Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez, #44, after striking Rodríguez out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Astros shortstop Mauricio Dubón hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in their fourth inning. The Mariners would get two back in the bottom of the frame. Going into the sixth, Houston had a 4-3 lead.

Benches cleared after Houston pitcher Hector Neris struck out Seattle batter Julio Rodriguez. Neris pounded his chest, shouted and walked toward Rodriguez as the center fielder returned to the dugout. Umpires got things back on track after a few minutes.

Neris said he had no hard feelings toward Rodriguez.

Julio Rodriguez held back

Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez, #44, is held back by teammate Bryan Woo, center, as Dylan Moore, left, looks on as benches clear after Rodriguez struck out against Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

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“He’s my friend,” Neris said. “Just, it’s part of the game.”

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Mariners slugger Eugenio Suárez said Neris was saying some bad things in Spanish toward Rodriguez.

“I heard that and that pissed me off,” Suárez said, via MLB.com. “I was mad and I let him know, like, ‘Why did you do that? Why did you do that to us? If you want to enjoy your strikeout, you enjoy the strikeout and go to your dugout.’ 

“Don’t do that, walk and chase Julio and do all that (stuff) he did. For me, I don’t take that. That made me so mad.”

Rodriguez said through a team spokesman that he was shocked by the way Neris acted toward him.

The Astros are 1.5 games up on the Mariners for the final wild-card spot. They are also a half-game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second spot.

Julio Rodriguez looks on

Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez sits on the backrest of a dugout seat during the bottom of the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

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Houston took two out of three games against Seattle and will finish the season on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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