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D-backs’ Torey Lovullo, Cardinals’ Yadier Molina suspended one game

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, right, throws off his mask as he argues with Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo during an altercation in the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
LISTEN: Torey Lovullo, D-backs' Manager

Major League Baseball suspended Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina one game each for their roles in a benches-clearing altercation Sunday.

Bench coach Jerry Narron will manage the D-backs on Tuesday as they play their second game of a three-game road series against the San Francisco Giants.

Molina will appeal his suspension and will not miss a game until the process goes through.

Lovullo, who was also fined, was ejected arguing balls and strikes with umpire Tim Timmons on Sunday in the second inning following a strikeout by D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock. In gesturing and using what he called “poor choice of words” referring to Molina, Lovullo triggered the Cardinals catcher to rush him.

MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre informed Lovullo of the suspension in a phonecall Tuesday morning, Lovullo told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo show.

Lovullo said he told Torre that he was “coming from a place of passion and care, that it wasn’t necessarily directed — even though some might’ve interpreted it different — at Yadi.”

“I wasn’t even talking to Yadi, I was talking to the umpire,” Lovullo said. “What I said was wrong in referencing him and using those two words when I was describing him. I wanted to make sure that I told Joe I was using it more as a compliment because I went out there and the first thing I said was, ‘He’s the best in the game.’ I don’t think Yadi heard that.

The D-backs manager said Torre suspended him because he caused the benches to clear.

Molina was separated from Lovullo during the altercation but did not receive an ejection, and Timmons said the contact the catcher made with him was “incidental.”

Arizona’s manager said he wasn’t upset with anything Molina did.

“It had nothing to do with Yadi’s pitch-framing,” Lovullo said. “I just didn’t like the pitches that were called in this game, at that moment.”

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