Pedro Martinez suspended for five games

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The Independent Online

Pedro Martinez, the pitcher of the Boston Red Sox, was suspended for five games today for hitting Roberto Alomar with a pitch after being warned not to retaliate for an earlier beaning.

Martinez immediately appealed the ruling from Frank Robinson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations.

"I'm hopeful that the suspension will be reduced on appeal," Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said.

Martinez didn't comment on the ruling, but said earlier in the week that he did not expect to be punished for his role in two bench-clearing confrontations last Sunday in Cleveland.

"There's no discipline to be issued. There's nothing. There's no fight," Martinez said on Monday. "This is all part of the game."

Martinez, the 1999 Cy Young winner as the American League's best pitcher, will be able to pitch until his appeal is heard.

He was also fined an undisclosed amount. Cleveland pitcher Charles Nagy was also fined, but not suspended, for hitting Boston's Jose Offerman moments before Martinez beaned Alomar.

Sunday's confrontations began when Martinez brushed back Einar Diaz with a pitch in the seventh inning, starting a staredown between the two.

"Pedro was clearly pitching inside to Einar Diaz because he was hanging over the plate," Duquette said. "He was pitching inside to try to get him out."

In the top of the eighth, Nagy hit Offerman in the side with a pitch. As Offerman took a few steps toward the mound, the Red Sox and Indians ran onto the field from the dugouts and bullpens.

After he was warned by the umpire not to throw at any batters, Martinez hit Alomar in the backside in the bottom of the inning and was ejected.

Alomar refused to comment specifically on Martinez's suspension, saying, "I've already said all I'm going to say on that."

Martinez is 5-0 and leads the AL in three categories, including wins and strikeouts.