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Laureano, Cintron banned over Astros-Athletics brawl

(AFP)

Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano and Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron were slapped with suspensions on Tuesday for their roles in a bench-clearing incident involving the two teams, Major League Baseball said.

Cintron has been hit with a hefty 20-game ban and an undisclosed fine for “inciting and escalating” a flashpoint involving Laureano during the Athletics’ victory in Oakland on Sunday.

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Laureano, who was banned for six games, lost his cool after being struck by a pitch for the third time in the series.

When Cintron appeared to goad him, Laureano charged towards the dugout, triggering a mass altercation involving players from both sides.

Tuesday’s punishments were made by Major League Baseball’s vice president of operations Chris Young.

Laureano said on Monday he had reacted after Cintron referenced his mother in an abusive tirade from the dugout.

“For him to say that to me about my mom, it doesn’t sit well,” Laureano told ESPN. “I’ve got a fire inside me right away in that second.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Cintron apologised for his behaviour — but denied insulting Laureano’s mother.

“I accept MLB’s suspension and will learn from this,” Cintron said. “Although I never referenced Ramon’s mother, my actions were inappropriate.

“I apologize for my part in Sunday’s unfortunate incident. As coaches, we are held to a higher standard and should be an example to the players.

“Hopefully, other coaches will learn from my mistake so that this never happens again in the future.”

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