Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller reportedly received a five-game suspension from MLB for hitting Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson during Wednesday’s game, which sparked benches-clearing drama.
Jeff Passan of ESPN provided an update and reported Anderson received a one-game ban for the language he used during the fracas.
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
A clarification: White Sox players were not asked specifically about Tim Anderson’s use of the word that led to his ejection, per source, but umpires said that it was uttered within earshot of both teams.
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
During the benches-clearing incident, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson called Royals pitcher Brad Keller a “weak-ass f—ing n-word,” sources tell ESPN. Anderson, who was hit by a Keller pitch one at-bat after he hit a home run and flipped his bat, was suspended for one game.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria also got a one-game suspension, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Anderson hit a home run off Keller in the fourth inning of an eventual 4-3 Kansas City win. It was the ensuing bat flip and enthusiasm that seemed to bother the Royals, though.
.@TimAnderson7 bat flipped so hard you could see it from the top of Sears Tower. So you know we had to Batcast™ it. https://t.co/JsN1sToUpl
When the 25-year-old shortstop returned to the plate to lead off the sixth inning, Keller hit him with the first pitch of the at-bat. Anderson seemed to understand the situation, tapping K.C. catcher Martin Maldonado on the chest, but players came out of dugouts anyway and things started to escalate.
Benches clear in Royals-White Sox after Brad Keller hits Tim Anderson in the 6th inning. https://t.co/u9IhZ56AvP
The Royals’ second-year pitcher denied intentionally hitting Anderson.
“I was trying to go in on him,” Keller told reporters. “My command wasn’t the best today. A ball got away from me. I’m not trying to put a guy on in a 2-2 game, especially the leadoff guy.”
Meanwhile, Anderson explained the ordeal isn’t going to change the way he approaches celebrating home runs.
“I’m going to continue to be me and keep having fun,” he said. “Our fans pay their hard-earned money to come to the ballpark to see a show, so why don’t I give them one?”
Barring appeals, Anderson and Renteria will miss Chicago’s Friday clash with the Detroit Tigers.
Keller will be eligible to return Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, though it’s unclear whether he’ll start that game or if the Royals are going to just skip his turn in the rotation.