Boston DH Ortiz, O’s RHP Gregg begin suspensions

Posted July 18, 2011, at 7:18 p.m.
Last modified July 18, 2011, at 8:58 p.m.

BALTIMORE — Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and Baltimore Orioles closer Kevin Gregg began three-day suspensions Monday after having their four-game suspensions reduced following an appeal.

Both players will sit out the entire series between Baltimore and Boston that runs through Wednesday. Ortiz and Gregg were given four-game suspensions on July 14 after nearly getting into a fight six days earlier at Fenway Park.

“Got to take it like a man,” Ortiz said. “You just don’t want to go over the same things again. Doing what I did wasn’t the right thing to do, so you’re going to be punished. Just want to get over with and continue the season.”

The fray started when Gregg threw two inside pitches to Ortiz, who started toward the mound after the second throw. Players from both benches and bullpens trotted onto the field, but nothing further developed.

“MLB has offered to take a three-game suspension and a slight reduction in the fine,” Gregg said. “Ortiz and I are both going to sit out this series. That’s it.”

Gregg was miffed that he got the same amount of time as Ortiz, Gregg insisted he was just doing his job — pitching inside to a good hitter — and Ortiz overreacted.

“I talked to the league a little bit, I talked to the player’s association a little bit,” he said. “The bottom line is trying to do what’s in the best interest of the team. Just to get things done, to take my time now. I still don’t think it’s fair that we have the same fine, same suspension, but we’re going to move past that point and get on with the season.”

Orioles reliever Mike Gonzalez, who appealed his three-game suspension, has not yet heard from MLB officials.

“Kevin had four and I had three,” the left-hander noted. “I’m expecting them to at least make it two games or something.”

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter has already served his one-game suspension. Showalter and Gonzalez were ejected after the pitcher threw a fastball behind Ortiz in the series finale on July 10.

Also on Monday, the Red Sox activated left fielder Carl Crawford off the 15-day disabled list.

Crawford was in the starting lineup for Monday night’s game against the Orioles. He had been sidelined since June 18 with a strained left hamstring.

Crawford is batting .243 with six homers and 31 RBIs. He hit .316 with 11 extra base hits, 17 RBIs and 14 runs over his last 21 games before being sidelined.

He returns after playing two games for Triple-A Pawtucket on a rehabilitation assignment.

To make room for Crawford on 25-man roster, Boston optioned infielder Drew Sutton to Pawtucket. Manager Terry Francona said that was the logical move, because utility man Yamaico Navarro can play both the infield and the outfield.

Reyes returning to Mets

NEW YORK — Jose Reyes appears ready to come off the disabled list.

The New York Mets star doubled and played six innings at shortstop Monday in a rehab game for Class-A Brooklyn. Mets manager Terry Collins says it looks as though Reyes will be activated Tuesday in time for the opener of a three-game series against St. Louis.

Leading the majors with a .354 batting average and 15 triples, Reyes has been sidelined since July 3 with a strained left hamstring. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Monday, but the Mets wanted him to test his leg in a game first.

Reyes went 1 for 3 and scored a run in Brooklyn’s 11-5 loss to Lowell.

All-Star right fielder Carlos Beltran missed his third straight game with a bad case of the flu. Collins said Beltran was headed to the doctor for tests and needed one more day of rest.

“He did say he felt better yesterday, but we got some news today that he’s still a little bit under the weather,” Collins said, adding that Beltran had lost a lot of weight. “He’s got a good case of it. I hope it doesn’t spread. You know how it can go around the clubhouse.”

Scott Hairston replaced Beltran in right but left the game after two innings. Batting cleanup, Hairston fouled a ball off his left shin in the first inning and jogged gingerly down to first base on a groundout.

Lucas Duda moved from first base to right field in the top of the third and Nick Evans entered to play first.

The Mets said Hairston has a bruised left shin. X-rays were negative and he is day to day.

Hairston filled in for Beltran on Saturday and had a huge game, hitting a long homer and driving in a career-best five runs during an 11-2 victory over Philadelphia.

Elsewhere, third baseman David Wright (back) was slated to play his fourth rehab game with Class-A St. Lucie on Monday night. The target for Wright’s return is this weekend at Florida.

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