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La Russa, Baker, Cueto Suspended, Four Fined in Brawl Aftermath

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Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto received a seven-game suspension and managers Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals and Dusty Baker of the Reds each were banned two games for a bench-clearing brawl two nights ago.

All three also were fined, along with second baseman Brandon Phillips and pitcher Russ Springer of the Reds and catcher Yadier Molina and starting pitcher Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals, Major League Baseball announced today.

The amounts of the fines weren’t disclosed.

The brawl occurred in the bottom of the first inning two nights ago in Cincinnati, when Phillips and Molina exchanged words as the Reds’ second baseman stepped into the batter’s box. Both managers had to be restrained, and Cueto, the Reds’ starting pitcher that evening, flailed his legs as he lay against the backstop behind home plate. Carpenter, the Cardinals’ All-Star pitcher, had to be restrained throughout the shoving match.

Reserve catcher Jason LaRue of the Cardinals later was placed on the disabled list with a mild concussion and sore ribs sustained in the fight when he was kicked by Cueto.

Phillips had told reporters the previous day that “I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear: I hate the Cardinals.”

The Cardinals finished a three-game sweep of the Reds yesterday with a 6-1 win and lead the National League Central Division by one game.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barry Rothbard in New York at brothbard@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup in New York at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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