CLEVELAND — After hearing Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac explain their actions, the Cleveland Indians sent the pitchers to their alternate training site on Friday after the two broke team rules and Major League Baseball coronavirus protocol last weekend in Chicago.

Clevinger and Plesac drove to Detroit separately with their baseball equipment on Thursday for an “open forum” meeting at the team’s hotel before the Indians opened a series with the Tigers.

Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said following “the discussion” that he met with Manager Terry Francona and General Manager Mike Chernoff and decided it was best to option Plesac and Clevinger to the alternate training site instead of allowing them to rejoin the team.

It’s a stunning slide for the right-handers and close friends, both considered important pieces for the Indians. There’s no indication when they may be back on Cleveland’s roster. They’ll have to be at Lake County for at least 10 days.

“For clarity, this isn’t punitive in any way,” Antonetti said. “This is us reflecting and thinking, ‘OK, given all that’s happened, how do we put together the best team right now to go out and win games?’ And given what’s transpired and how people are feeling, we thought at least for the time being, this is the best thing for us to do to put our team in the best position to succeed.”

Last weekend, the pitchers broke the team’s code of conduct implemented during the pandemic by leaving the team hotel and having dinner and socializing with friends of Plesac’s and risking contracting the virus.

Although both players have twice tested negative for COVID-19 this week, the Indians aren’t ready to have them back.

Earlier this week, pitcher Adam Plutko said he felt betrayed.

“They hurt us bad,” Plutko said. “They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on.”

Both Clevinger and Plesac issued apologies in the days after their missteps. However, on Thursday, the 25-year-old Plesac posted a six-minute video on Instagram in which he acknowledged breaking team curfew but then aimed blame at the media, saying he and Clevinger were being inaccurately portrayed as “bad people.”

Antonetti said he watched the video.

“I’m not sure Zach was able to convey what he intended to convey in the video after having a chance to speak with him afterwards,” he said. “I think if he had a do-over, he may have said things a bit differently.”

Francona also felt Plesac could have chosen a better way to handle the aftermath.

“I was disappointed,” he said.

CARDINALS: Coach Willie McGee has opted out of being with the team for the rest of the season, while Major League Baseball announced several doubleheaders to make up for games St. Louis has missed because of the coronavirus.

McGee, 61, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he has high blood pressure. He said he has three adult daughters and five grandchildren living at his home in California.

McGee said he doesn’t have the virus, but added, “having an underlying health issue with high blood pressure, I just don’t know how I would react if I were to get sick and I’m still not out of the woods.”

The Cardinals are 2-3 this season and haven’t played since July 29 because of a virus outbreak that hit the team. Their game in Chicago against the White Sox scheduled for Friday night was called off, but the teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday.

To make up for previously postponed games, the Cardinals will play doubleheaders against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 17, Aug. 19 and Sept. 5. St. Louis and Pittsburgh will play twinbills on Aug. 27 and Sept. 18, and the Cardinals will have a doubleheader Sept. 8 against Minnesota.

YANKEES: Oft-injured star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list because of a right calf strain.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday. Yankees Manager Aaron Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury.

To replace Judge on the active roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and was tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBI.

ATHLETICS: Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano had a six-game suspension reduced to four games after appealing the penalty for his role in a benches-clearing brawl with the rival Houston Astros.

Astros hitting coach Álex Cintrón received a 20-game suspension and a fine Tuesday for his role in the fracas at Oakland last Sunday. Laureano also received a fine.

METS: Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom was scratched from his start against the Phillies on Friday.

DeGrom says he has neck tightness, but “everything is fine structurally” and he doesn’t plan to go on the injury list. The right-hander felt soreness playing catch after his last start. He threw from the mound Thursday and thought he could still pitch the opener of a three-game series in Philadelphia but will skip the outing as a precaution.

DeGrom is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts this season.


ORIOLES 6, NATIONALS 2: Baltimore successfully finished what it started, beating Washington in a game suspended five days earlier because of a tarp malfunction at another ballpark.

Baltimore led 5-2 in the top of the sixth Sunday at Nationals Park when rain halted play. The grounds crew failed to get a tangled-up tarp out in time to prevent the infield from becoming an unplayable quagmire that could not be dried.

The game resumed at Camden Yards, with the Nationals serving as the home team, prior to the opener of a three-game series.

In the regularly scheduled game, Nationals star right-hander Stephen Strasburg left after throwing just 16 pitches.

There was no immediate word from the Nationals on the type of injury that forced him off the mound during the first inning.

Strasburg got a late start on the season because of a nerve issue in his right hand. This was his second start, the first coming last Sunday against Baltimore.

MARLINS 8, BRAVES 2: Jesus Aguilar drove in three runs, Jon Berti stole home and NL East-leading Miami won its long-awaited, coronavirus-delayed home opener.

Miami returned to Marlins Park following a 23-day road trip, interrupted when 18 players and two coaches tested positive for the virus.

Pablo Lopez (2-1) allowed two runs and seven hits and struck out a career-high eight in six innings. The Marlins improved to 9-4.

BLUE JAYS 12, RAYS 4: Teoscar Hernandez hit two of Toronto’s six home runs, Bo Bichette connected for the fourth straight game and the Blue Jays kept knocking balls out of their new Buffalo park.

Following up their seven homers in a 14-11 loss to Miami on Wednesday night at Sahlen Field, Toronto became the fourth team in major league history to hit at least six homers in back-to-back games. The Blue Jays joined the 1996 Dodgers, 2003 Angels and 2012 Nationals.

REDS 8, PIRATES 1: Jesse Winker had his first career two homer game, Sonny Gray continued his torrid strikeout pace, and Cincinnati broke open a close contest with five runs in the last three innings against visiting Pittsburgh.

Nick Castellanos added a three-run homer off Chris Stratton to cap Cincinnati’s four-run seventh.

Gray (4-1) struck out 10, raising his season total to 45 – a franchise record for a pitcher’s first five appearances. Luis Castillo set the previous mark of 41 in 2019.

INDIANS 10, TIGERS 5: Franmil Reyes homered and drove in three runs, and visiting Cleveland beat Detroit for a club-record 18th consecutive time.

PHILLIES 6, METS 5: Bryce Harper’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Philadelphia a victory over visiting New York.

RANGERS 3, ROCKIES 2: Lance Lynn allowed hits to the first two batters in bottom of the first, then held Colorado hitless the rest of the way in his first complete game in six years.

Lynn (3-0) fanned six and lowered his ERA to 1.11.

BREWERS 4, CUBS 3: Christian Yelich hit a three-run homer and Milwaukee won at Chicago.

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