Already starting the new season under a cloud after a cheating scandal was uncovered, the Houston Astros have seen their share of troubles continue.

After a benches clearing brawl with the Oakland Athletics, Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron was handed a 20 game suspension for his participation in the melee.  When handing down the decision, Major League Baseball noted it was “for his role in inciting and escalating the conflict between the two clubs.”

A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano earned himself a six game suspension and has appealed the decision.  Both also received undisclosed fines.

Cintron issued a statement saying, “I accept MLB’s suspension and will learn from this.  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.”

Astros pitcher Humberto Castellonos hit Ramon Laureano in the seventh inning.  There was an exchange of words that ended in Laureano throwing his batting helmet down and sprinting toward Alex Cintron but was tackled by Astros catcher Dustin Garneau before he reached Cintron.

Laureano was hit three times during the weekend series.

The incident cleared both dugouts.  Umpire Ted Barrett ejected Laureano from the game.

Astros manager Dusty Baker was already out of the game when the brawl occurred.

In other suspension news…
Relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joe Kelly was suspended for throwing at the heads of Houston Astros batters.  The suspension which was originally eight games, has been reduced to five games after Kelly appealed the decision.

During a game on July 29, Kelly threw a 96mph fastball near the head of Astro Alex Bregman and two brush back curve balls at Carlos Correa and the duo later exchanged words.  The benches cleared for both the Astros and Dodgers in the sixth inning after Kelly’s actions.

Kelly is currently on the 10 day injury list for right shoulder inflammation.  He will serve his five game suspension once he comes off of the injury list.

Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was suspended for one game – which he has already served.