USA Today Sports

Joe Kelly after suspension upheld: 'At least take me to dinner first ..."

Rob Bradford
April 26, 2018 - 3:19 pm

TORONTO -- Joe Kelly's hot streak has been put on hold.

The reliever was informed by Major League Baseball Thursday that his six-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball has been upheld, with Kelly forced to start serving his punishment immediately. The right-handeder had appealed the initial decision, having gone through a hearing in Oakland last Friday. He will be eligible to return May 2.

Kelly's suspension takes away one of the hottest pitchers in the Red Sox' bullpen, with the righty not having allowed a run and just five hits over 11 2/3 innings since his Opening Day struggles. Durin the stretch he has struck out 10 and walked just one.

Kelly's suspension came as a result of MLB suggesting he intentionally threw at the Yankees' Tyler Austin, who had taken out Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt with an aggressive slide earlier in the game. Austin would charge Kelly after being plunked with a 97 mph fastball, leading to both benches clearing.

The pitcher didn't take kindly to the decision, mocking MLB via Twitter, writing "At least take me to dinner first. ..."

The Red Sox reliever would receive a standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd the next time he pitched, with the TD Garden crowd giving him a similar reaction with Kelly attending a Bruins playoff game.

Austin received a five-game suspension.

"I always like sticking up for myself," Kelly said at Rogers Centre prior to the Red Sox' series finale against the Blue Jays. "It kind of helps me sleep at night going in fighting for what I believe in, and it didn't work out."

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