Cleveland Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball on Monday for intentionally throwing a pitch at Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.
In his first outing against his former Rockies team mates, Jimenez struck shortstop Tulowitzki with a fastball in the first inning of Sunday's game, inciting a bench-clearing episode during their spring training contest in Arizona.
Jimenez insisted the pitch just got away from him and was not the result of bitter feelings after the pitcher was traded last season to Cleveland.
The Indians acquired Jimenez from the Rockies last July 31, as the pitcher struggled through a 10-13 showing with a 4.68 ERA.
This spring, Jimenez criticized the Colorado organization in various reports, hinting at unfair treatment, and Tulowitzki had fired back to reporters that the pitcher was out of line.
When Tulowitzki came up in the first inning, Jimenez threw his first pitch to the shortstop high and inside, where it struck his left elbow.
Tulowitzki left the game to have his elbow examined at a local hospital and X-rays showed no structural damage.
Jimenez is scheduled to begin serving his suspension on Cleveland's Opening Day this Thursday when the Indians host the Toronto Blue Jays.
If appealed, the 28-year-old Dominican's suspension would be held in abeyance until the process is complete.
(Reporting By Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Steve Keating)