NEW YORK — Josh Donaldson has apologized to the wife and family of Jackie Robinson for referencing the pioneering Black baseball player in remarks that led to a confrontation with Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.

The New York Yankees’ third baseman was suspended for one game and fined on Monday by Major League Baseball. The league said Donaldson’s comment on Saturday was “disrespectful and in poor judgment.” Donaldson has appealed the discipline.

“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson said in a statement Thursday issued through his agency, MVP Sports. “I stated over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that it was a misunderstanding based on multiple exchanges between us over the years. My view of that exchange hasn’t changed and I absolutely meant no disrespect. In the past, it had never been an issue and now that it is, we have a mutual understanding.

“I would also like to apologize to Mrs. Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson family for any distress this incident may have caused. Jackie was a true American hero and I hold his name in the highest regard.”

Donaldson said after Saturday’s game that he twice called Anderson by “Jackie.” Robinson broke MLB’s barrier in 1947. Benches and bullpens emptied as tensions escalated.

Anderson has said Donaldson was “trying to provoke me” with the comment. White Sox Manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s comment last weekend “racist,” adding, “That’s as strong as it gets.” Anderson agreed with La Russa: “Same, along that same line, yeah.”

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Anderson, an All-Star and the 2019 AL batting champion who is among the leading Black voices in baseball, told Sports Illustrated in 2019: “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson … because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game.”

Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, said that early in Saturday’s game, “I called him Jackie.” The white ballplayer also said he has “joked around” with Anderson in the past using the same reference and mentioned that Sports Illustrated interview.

Anderson said after a brief conversation in 2019 in which Donaldson called him “Jackie,” he told Donaldson: “We don’t have to talk again. I won’t speak to you, you don’t speak to me if that’s how you’re going to refer to me.”

MLB AND THE the players’ association are allowing teams to have an additional pitcher through June 19.

MLB and the union said March 31 that a 13-pitcher limit would be enforced starting May 2, then on April 16 announced the date had been pushed back to May 30. They said Thursday that the 13-pitcher limit will be enforced starting June 20, allowing each team to have 14 pitchers until then.

YANKEES: Matt Carpenter agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Yankees, a week after he was released from the Texas Rangers’ minor league system.

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Injury-hit New York also selected the contract of 31-year-old left-hander Manny Banuelos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before Thursday’s series opener at Tampa Bay. Banuelos was in the Yankees’ minor league system from 2008-14 but never made it up to the big league club during that time.

Carpenter, 36, gets a contract paying a $1 million salary while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors. A three-time All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit .275 with six homers and 19 RBI in 21 games for Round Round of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

YANKEES 7, RAYS 2: Nelson Cortes took a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning, Matt Carpenter sparked a go-ahead, three-run rally in his Yankees debut and New York beat Tampa Bay.

Cortes (4-1) won his third straight start, striking out five and walking one in eight-plus innings. The 27-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.70, retiring 14 in a row during one stretch. He threw 77 strikes among a career-high 109 pitches.

TIGERS 4, GUARDIANS 3: Miguel Cabrera hit a game-ending single in the ninth inning with his third hit, lifting Detroit over visiting Cleveland.
Jonathan Schoop hit a one-out double in the final inning, advanced on a wild pitch from Trevor Stephan (2-2) and scored on the 39-year-old Cabrera’s 3,029th hit.

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

REDS 20, CUBS 5: Cincinnati dominated visiting Chicago, scoring most runs in 23 years behind a combined 20 hits – including two home runs and five RBI from Kyle Farmer – to get rookie pitcher Hunter Greene his first win since April 10.

NATIONALS 7, ROCKIES 3: Patrick Corbin ended a 10-start winless streak, allowing three runs over 71/3 innings to lead Washington over visiting Colorado.

He gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked two, lowering his ERA from 6.60 to 6.30.

REDS 20, CUBS 5: Cincinnati dominated visiting Chicago, scoring most runs in 23 years.

They did it behind a combined 20 hits – including two home runs and five RBI from Kyle Farmer – and got rookie pitcher Hunter Greene his first win since April 10.

A big third inning made the difference, one in which the Reds scored eight and chased Cubs starter Justin Steele (1-5). Matt Reynolds drove in two with a triple, and Tyler Stephenson and Albert Almora had two-run singles as Cincinnati batted around.


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