Baseball

Red Sox hurler Barnes suspended for pitch near head

Major League Baseball acted swiftly in disciplining Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes for a dangerous pitch near the head of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday.

Matt Barnes of the Boston Red Sox was handed a four-game suspension for a dangerous pitch © (AFP)

Matt Barnes of the Boston Red Sox was handed a four-game suspension for a dangerous pitch © (AFP)

BOSTON - Major League Baseball acted swiftly in disciplining Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes for a dangerous pitch near the head of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday.

Barnes was handed a four-game suspension on Monday.

In an announcement by MLB's chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, the league said that Barnes also received an "undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch in the area of" Machado's head.

Barnes, who was ejected from the game after the eighth-inning pitch, and Red Sox manager John Farrell both insisted that the pitch was not intentional.

The ball missed Machado's body but ricocheted into his back after hitting his bat.

Barnes' pitch could have been in retaliation for Machado's slide into second base that sidelined four-time All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the series opener on Friday.

Pedroia is day-to-day with a calf and ankle injury.

Machado and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said they wouldn't speculate as to the motive of the pitch, although Showalter said he expected Barnes to be disciplined.

"I'm curious to see what they end up with," Showalter said. "I have a lot of confidence people will look at it and do the right thing."

Barnes is appealing the suspension and can play until his hearing is held.