The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League suspended outfielder Alex Romero for 20 games Wednesday for swinging his bat at an opposing catcher during a brawl last week.

Right-hander Ángel Nesbitt was also banned for the rest of the Venezuelan postseason after starting the fracas Jan. 8 by throwing a fastball behind Romero.

Romero’s Aguilas del Zulia trailed Nesbitt’s Caribes de Anzoategui 13-1 in the eighth inning when Nesbitt’s pitch whizzed past Romero.

Romero immediately turned and took two big hacks with his bat at catcher Gabriel Lino, connecting at least once while players ran onto the field from both benches. Romero and Lino were separated but the skirmish continued. Five players were ejected, joining four other players tossed earlier in the game. A 10th player was ejected later in the inning.

Romero’s ban will extend into next season. Both players were given 24 hours to appeal, and Nesbitt has already done that and will be eligible to play until his appeal is decided.


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