MLB

MLB reduces Papelbon's suspension

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BOSTON (AP)

Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had his suspension stemming from a bumping incident with an umpire reduced from three games to two by Major League Baseball on Friday.

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Papelbon, ejected by plate umpire Tony Randazzo during a June 4 game at Fenway Park, will serve his suspension Friday and Saturday, missing two home games against Milwaukee.

''I feel definitely that our situation came back fair,'' Papelbon said in the Boston clubhouse hours before Friday night's game. ''It's pretty simple, man. I put in the appeal, they looked at the videotape for, I guess a week now, and said two games is fair enough.''

Papelbon, who blew a save in the game, was upset over Randazzo's ball-strike calls, and the situation actually boiled over when Randazzo called a strike on a pitch Papelbon thought was a ball. A verbal exchange between the two led to the contact between player and umpire.

''I had to own up to it and I did,'' Papelbon said.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said it wasn't etched in stone that eighth-inning setup man Daniel Bard would close in Papelbon's absence, saying an eighth-inning situation could result in Bard pitching in that inning and someone else working the ninth.

''We got one game knocked off,'' Francona said. ''I wish we would have gotten two, just because we like him pitching, but we'll get it over with. Take your medicine and get it over with.''

Tagged: Red Sox, Jonathan Papelbon

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