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Angels Ramirez suspended in 'escalating' row with Astros

Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick is struck by a pitch in his team's game against the Los Angeles Angels (AFP Photo/Victor Decolongon)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Los Angeles Angels pitcher Noe Ramirez was slapped with a three-game suspension on Wednesday for drilling Houston Astros batter Jake Marisnick with a fastball in a Major League Baseball game.

MLB's disciplinary officials announced the ban one day after Ramirez fired a ball which hit Marisnick between the shoulder blades in the Angels' 7-2 win on Tuesday. Ramirez was also fined an undisclosed amount.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus was suspended for one game and also fined an undisclosed amount, according to the league's chief baseball officer Joe Torre.

Earlier Wednesday, Houston Astros president Jeff Luhnow demanded baseball take action after Marisnick was struck in what seemed to be a continuation of bad blood between the two teams.

Outfielder Marisnick was hit by a 90mph (145kph) pitch on Tuesday as he faced the Angels for the first time since being given a two-game suspension for a collision which injured their catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He has appealed the ban and will likely serve it once that process is over.

Angry Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Ramirez's pitch -- which flew close to Marisnick's head before striking him on the shoulder -- was an act of retaliation.

Luhnow told Houston radio station KBME-AM on Wednesday that baseball authorities should consider sanctions following the incident.

"It's BS that the ball was thrown up," Luhnow said of the high pitch. "When there's retaliation like that and the ball is thrown up I think there needs to some price to pay, and not from us, but from Major League Baseball."

Luhnow insisted Marisnick's base-running collision with Lucroy earlier this month, which left the Angels catcher requiring surgery to repair a broken nose, was accidental.

"For whatever reason MLB decided to suspend him. Both teams were talked to and told not to escalate it. And last night it escalated," Luhnow said.

Astros skipper Hinch was also unhappy that the umpires did not punish Ramirez. He said after Tuesday's game the team had expected Marisnick to be targeted, complaining that the Angels had been given a "free shot" at the player.

"Wasn't everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?" Hinch asked.

"I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot ... They got a free shot at him with no warning, no ejection."

Ramirez denied he was attempting to hit Marisnick. "That's the last thing I was trying to do," he said.