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Upton suspended two games, fined $1,500 for outburst vs. Jays

Rays outfielder B.J. Upton will be suspended two games by Major League Baseball and fined $1,500 for his outburst in Wednesday's game versus the Blue Jays.

Upton said he plans to appeal the suspension, which was announced by the league Saturday, but won't begin serving it until after the Rays complete their weekend series at Baltimore.

After being called out on strikes in the ninth inning of the Rays' 3-2 loss to Toronto Wednesday, Upton was ejected and had a tirade aimed at home plate umpire Chad Fairchild, tossing his helmet and batting gloves and having to be restrained by third base coach Tom Foley and bench coach Dave Martinez.

If upheld, it will be the first suspension of Upton's career. 

"They look at it the way they want to look at it,'' Upton said. "Once it's over, it's out of my hands. They felt the fine and a couple of days suspension. There's nothing I can do about it.''

By appealing the suspension, Upton will be able to finish the three-game series in Baltimore, where he has a lifetime .281 batting average at Camden Yards as opposed .180 at Jacobs Field in Cleveland.

"I don't plan on taking (the two game suspension) here,'' Upton said. "Probably in Cleveland...I like hitting in this park, I guess.''

If Upton returns from his suspension Thursday in Cleveland, it could bode well for the Rays' centerfielder. He has a .385 batting average against Indians starter Justin Masterson.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he had no problem with Upton's decision to finish the series in Baltimore

"He’s had a lot of success here, and that was his call,'' Maddon said. "I don’t want to argue with that. Two games here, two games there. Who knows when the right two games are to take? So we just went with his wishes right now, and he’s playing today.”

The Rays recalled outfielder Brandon Guyer from triple-A Durham Friday when pitcher Jeff Neimann went on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Guyer blasted a two-run homer in his first Major League at bat Friday night.

The Rays have a day off Monday, meaning Niemann's turn in the rotation would be Tuesday at Cleveland. But rather than option Guyer back to Durham and recall a pitcher, Maddon said he plans to start right hander Andy Sonnastine.

“It doesn’t really impact Guyer,'' Maddon said. "It’s nice to have Guyer here in case he did serve his suspension now, but the way the bullpen is right now I think we’re still OK. Barring anything further necessary use out of Sonnanstine, you’re probably going to see him start that game on Tuesday.”

--RICK STROUD

 

[Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 12:15am]

    

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