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A's starter Colon hit with drug suspension

OAKLAND, Calif. — Make it two 50-game suspensions in exactly one week — both starters for contending teams from the San Francisco Bay area, both for testosterone.

Athletics RHP Bartolo Colon, a former Cy Young Award winner, was suspended for 50 games Wednesday after testing positive for testosterone, joining Giants OF Melky Cabrera on the suspended list for the rest of the regular season.

Cabrera, the All-Star Game MVP, received his suspension a week earlier after a positive test for the same substance.

"All it tells me is that the system in place is working," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That's what I get from it. It should strongly act as a deterrent moving forward to those that may want to circumvent it."

Colon will miss the final 40 games of the regular season and the first 10 games of the postseason if Oakland advances that far. The rest of the suspension would be served in a future season.

"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said in a statement. "I accept responsibility for my actions, and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program."

Colon was scheduled to pitch tonight at Tropicana Field in the opener of a big three-game series against the Rays. RHP Tyson Ross will be called up from Triple A to replace him.

"It's a shock," A's reliever and former Ray Grant Balfour said. "He's a guy that we're definitely relying on right now."

Oakland, which hasn't made the playoffs since 2006, began Wednesday a half-game behind the Orioles for the second AL wild-card spot. "It's tough for them, they're right in the middle of the thing right now," Maddon said. "It's kind of like a little jab at them that connects."

STRASBURG LIMIT: Nationals manager Davey Johnson said RHP Stephen Strasburg could miss his final two or three turns in the rotation during the regular season. Strasburg, in his first full season after elbow ligament replacement surgery, had pitched 145⅓ innings, and the team is thought to have given him a limit of 160-180.

SANTANA OUT: Mets LHP Johan Santana is headed to the disabled list and not expected to pitch again this season. GM Sandy Alderson said Santana has lower-back inflammation.

HIT REVERSED: MLB overruled a controversial call in Sunday's game between the White Sox and Royals that broke up a no-hitter by Kansas City RHP Jeremy Guthrie. Paul Konerko's ground ball in the seventh that was ruled in infield single was declared a throwing error on SS Alcides Escobar. Guthrie allowed two singles in the eighth.

BREWERS: LHP Randy Wolf, 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 24 starts, was released on his 36th birthday. RHP Shaun Marcum, on the disabled list since June 23 with a right elbow injury, is expected to return soon from a rehabilitation assignment.

CARDINALS: RHP Jake Westbrook's new contract is for $9.75 million for 2013 with a mutual option for 2014.

DODGERS: Jerry Hairston, on the disabled list since Aug. 13 with an inflamed left hip, has not improved after getting an anti-inflammatory injection and may have season-ending surgery.

RANGERS: RHP Yu Darvish will miss his start tonight because of tightness in his right quadriceps muscle. RHP Roy Oswalt will pitch in his place.

ROCKIES: SS Troy Tulowitzki, who hasn't played since May 30 and had groin surgery June 21, was cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

YANKEES: RHP Ivan Nova has tightness in his pitching shoulder and will fly back to New York today for tests.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

A's starter Colon hit with drug suspension 08/22/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:58pm]
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