Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount Wednesday for intentionally hitting Kansas City's Mike Moustakas with a pitch on Saturday.
Gomez will appeal the suspension, which was levied by Major League Baseball, and is expected to make his next scheduled start on Saturday in Oakland.
Gomez hit the Royals third baseman in the buttocks in retaliation for a benches-clearing incident a half-inning earlier. Royals pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, who shattered Shin-Soo Choo's left thumb with a fastball while pitching for the Giants last season, hit Choo in the right knee in the top of the third inning. The Cleveland right fielder took exception and had a few choice words for Sanchez. Both benches and bullpens emptied onto the field before clearer heads prevailed -- for the time being.
"I know he didn't hit me on purpose," said Choo, who has been hit by pitches three times already this season. "But still, I have a memory of last year."
Choo needed surgery on his broken thumb last June and spent 6 1/2 weeks on the disabled list.
Both teams were issued warnings following the initial fracas. However, when Gomez plunked Moustakas to start the bottom half of the inning, another skirmish ensued and plate umpire Gary Darling ejected Gomez, Tribe manager Manny Acta and third baseman Jack Hannahan. Hannahan was fined $500 by MLB.
"I believe he's trying to protect his teammate," Acta said about Gomez.
Though the season is young, the Indians are no stranger to heated competition. Ubaldo Jimenez served a five-game suspension last week after drilling former Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki in the elbow during his final Spring Training outing.
Before he was tossed, Gomez hadn't allowed a hit in Saturday's start. He has pitched twice this season, once out of the bullpen. Moustakas, who eventually scored after Josh Tomlin replaced Gomez, is the only batter to reach against the right-hander in four otherwise flawless innings.
Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.