Bucs’ Kela returns, doesn’t refute report of altercation

Sports

Kela was suspended due to an altercation with the team's director of cultural readiness and peak performance coach

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Keone Kela throws in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Keone Kela throws in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pirates reliever Keone Kela has returned from a two-game suspension for an unspecified violation of his contract and was cagey when asked about what led to the ban.

Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that Kela was suspended due to an altercation with Hector Morales, the team’s director of cultural readiness and peak performance coach. Asked specifically about that report, Kela said he “wouldn’t say it’s not true” but also “wouldn’t say it’s a fact.”

Kela also said that “nothing happened” and said “no explanations” were provided by the Pirates for his suspension. He said he was looking forward to returning to the mound.

Before serving his suspension, Kela had been on the injured list since May 6 with right shoulder inflammation. He’s pitched in 14 games this season and has a 4.63 ERA.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle declined to comment on the reason for Kela’s suspension and said he considers the matter closed.

To make room for Kela on the roster, the Pirates moved catcher Francisco Cervelli (concussion) to the 60-day injured list and placed right-hander Clay Holmes on the 10-day injured list with right triceps inflammation prior to Wednesday’s game against St. Louis.

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