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MLB suspends Sean Nolin, Dave Martinez for HBP

Major League Baseball announced that Nationals left-hander Sean Nolin has been suspended five games for “intentionally hitting” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman with a pitch during Wednesday night’s game. Nolin, who also received an undisclosed fine, is appealing the suspension. He’ll remain on the roster until his appeal is heard.

Additionally, MLB suspended Washington manager Dave Martinez for one game as a result of Nolin’s actions. Martinez, who also received an undisclosed fine, will serve his ban during Friday night’s game against the Pirates.

In the first inning of Wednesday’s start in Atlanta, Nolin threw a first-pitch fastball behind Freeman’s back. His second pitch of the plate appearance — also a fastball — hit Freeman in the right hip. Nolin was then ejected by home plate umpire Lance Barksdale.

The night before, Braves’ closer Will Smith hit Nationals star Juan Soto with a pitch. It seems that Nolin threw behind and then hit Freeman as a retaliatory measure, but he denied doing so intentionally. After the game, Nolin told reporters he simply had trouble gripping the baseball, via Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com.

Nolin made his return to the majors this season for the first time since 2015. Over five starts, the 31-year-old has worked 17 2/3 innings of 5.60 ERA ball.

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