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Last Updated Oct 28, 2017 4:52 PM EDT
A Houston Astros player who made a seemingly racist gesture mocking a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher duringFriday night will be suspended for five games next season, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Saturday.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel hit a homerun in the second inning of Friday’s game, which Houston went on to win 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead over L.A. in the series.
Upon returning to the dugout after his homerun, Gurriel appeared to mock Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, who is Japanese, by pulling on the corner of his eyes. Gurriel appeared to say the word “chinito,” which loosely translates to “little Chinese boy” in Spanish, CBS Sports reports.
Gurriel, who is Cuban, told reporters after the game that he “didn’t want to offend anybody.”
“I don’t want to offend him or anybody in Japan. I have a lot of respect. I played in Japan,” Gurriel said through a translator, according to MLB.com’s Joshua Thornton. Gurriel said he would apologize to Darvish.
In a tweet early Saturday, Darvish said he hoped to move on.
“No one is perfect. That includes both you and I,” Darvish wrote. “What he had done today isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him.”
On Saturday afternoon, Manfred said Gurriel would be allowed to play the rest of the World Series, saying he didn’t think it would be fair to penalize the rest of the Astros. Gurriel will be suspended for five games in the 2018 season.
In a statement, the Astros said they were “surprised and disappointed” by Gurriel’s behavior and supported Manfred’s decision to suspend him next year.
“The Astros will donate Yuli’s salary for these five games in equal parts to the Astros Foundation and to a charity directly supporting diversity efforts,” the team said.
Game 4 of the World Series is Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Houston, airing on Fox.
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