Guardians star Jose Ramirez has suspension reduced to 2 games

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Cleveland Guardians All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez had his MLB suspension for fighting with Chicago’s Tim Anderson reduced from three games to two on Saturday.

Ramirez, who knocked Anderson to the ground with a wild, well-placed punch, will serve the suspension this weekend during Cleveland’s series in Tampa Bay. Ramirez won’t play Saturday or Sunday.

“Not having him for 10 minutes isn’t fun, let alone two [games],” Guardians manager Terry Francona said before Saturday’s game with the Rays. “But I’m glad it’s two instead of three. We got the final verdict this morning.”

Anderson was suspended six games for fighting with Ramirez near second base and triggering a benches-clearing melee on Aug. 5 between the Guardians and White Sox that went on for several minutes and included several other flare-ups.

MLB handed out its punishment two days after the brawl, but Ramirez continued playing this week until his appeal could be heard. Anderson also appealed his suspension.

Ramirez is hitting .156 (5 for 32) in 10 games this month.

“I told him, I said ‘Hey, take a breath’ because he really didn’t get an All-Star break,” Francona said. “He went to Seattle [for the All-Star Game]. Hopefully this will be really good for him, and we’ll try to make do without him, which isn’t fun.”

Gabriel Arias started at third base on Saturday.

Francona, third base coach Mike Sarbaugh and closer Emmanuel Clase were all suspended one game. Chicago manager Pedro Frifol also was suspended a game.

One of baseball’s best all-around players, Ramirez is batting .282 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs in 113 games. He’ll likely be back in Cleveland’s lineup on Tuesday, when the Guardians, who trail first-place Minnesota by 3½ games in the AL Central, open a two-game series in Cincinnati.

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