Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for what Major League Baseball called “inappropriate actions” during Chicago’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Cubs pitcher John Lackey also was fined an undisclosed amount, MLB announced Saturday.
Contreras has appealed the suspension, so he was in the lineup for Saturday’s second game of the three-game series.
Contreras and Lackey were ejected in the fifth inning a day earlier for arguing with home plate umpire Jordan Baker. Lackey thought St. Louis pitcher Carlos Martinez struck out to end the inning, but the pitch was called a ball. Martinez then singled to drive in a run, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Lackey argued and was ejected. Contreras was ejected a short while later and threw down his mask in anger. It bounced up and hit Baker’s leg.
Contreras, 25, apologized after the game, saying he had no intention of hitting Baker. Maddon is hoping Contreras’ postgame comments will be a factor in possibly reducing the suspension.
“He’s a wonderful young man,” Maddon said. “He is emotional. We’re all working to help him curb that a bit, but you don’t want to take it all away. That’s a big part of why he’s so good.”
Lackey, 38, wasn’t contrite after the game.
“It’s a pretty big spot right there,” he said. “It cost me a big league win. Those don’t grow on trees.”
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera left Detroit’s 10-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox because of back tightness. Cabrera was replaced at the start of the fifth inning after going hitless in his two at-bats. Cabrera missed 24 games this season because of groin problems after appearing in 158 games in 2016. The 34-year-old slugger, who has 16 home runs and 60 RBIs, is hitting .248 and is likely to finish with the worst average of his career.