New York, NY (Sports Network) - Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto was suspended seven games by Major League Baseball for his role in the August 10 benches-clearing melee with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Managers Dusty Baker of Cincinnati and Tony La Russa of St. Louis were also suspended two games apiece. The two skippers were the only ejections from the incident that occurred in the bottom of the first inning at Great American Ball Park.
The problems began when Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina engaged in a heated argument. Phillips had previously made some inflammatory comments about the Cardinals and tapped Molina's shin guards as he was set to bat in the bottom of the first.
Both dugouts quickly emptied and numerous players began pulling and pushing each other. Reds third baseman Scott Rolen and Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter became entangled as the scrum moved from home plate to the wall and screen behind plate.
Cueto, the starting pitcher for that night's game, was pinned against the screen and was trying to kick his way out.
MLB deemed Cueto's actions "violent and aggressive" in doling out the severe punishment. He is scheduled to begin his suspension on Friday, unless appealed.
Baker and La Russa will each serve their suspensions Friday and Saturday. The Reds will be hosting the Florida Marlins, while the Cardinals will welcome the Chicago Cubs to St. Louis. Both teams were off Thursday.
The Cardinals began the three-game series against the Reds two games behind in the NL Central, but wound up sweeping the set and moved a game ahead of Cincinnati.
Cueto, Baker, La Russa, Phillips, Molina, Carpenter and Cincinnati pitcher Russ Springer were also fined undisclosed amounts.