Rodney's suspension cut to two games

Rodney's suspension cut to two games

DETROIT -- Tigers closer Fernando Rodney will serve a two-game suspension, starting Monday night, after Major League Baseball heard his appeal for the penalty he received for throwing a ball into the press box at Tropicana Field on Sept. 4.

The original suspension, handed out last Tuesday, was three games. Rodney immediately appealed it and made his case by phone Monday afternoon. He reiterated his argument that he didn't intend to throw the ball into the box, and that he was truly sorry for throwing the ball into the stands in the first place.

While he had a game taken off his suspension, he said his fine remained $3,000.

"It's a lot of money," Rodney said.

The Tigers' five-game losing streak, which ended with Sunday's win over the Blue Jays, didn't leave Rodney with any save opportunities while his suspension was on appeal. Sunday marked the first time since then that he finished out a victory, and it wasn't a save situation. He pitched three other times, largely just to get some work and stay fresh.

Manager Jim Leyland didn't want to talk about the matter. However, he mentioned Sunday that he would have to rest Rodney on Monday anyway after he pitched in the previous three games.

Normally, setup man Brandon Lyon would fill in as Detroit's closer, but he also pitched in the first three games of the series. Leyland was still hoping to have him available, but wasn't sure.

Still, the suspension will be over by the time the Tigers leave town for a nine-game, three-city road trip to Minnesota, Cleveland and Chicago that could determine the American League Central race. The Twins and White Sox are both looking up in the standings at the Tigers, who have a 5 1/2-game lead and a magic number of 15.

Rodney can work out with the team before the game and throw on the side, but he can't be in the dugout or the clubhouse once the game starts.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.