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MLB notebook: Dempster suspended, fined for A-Rod plunking

| Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball for intentionally hitting Yankees star Alex Rodriguez with a pitch last weekend.

The penalty was announced Tuesday by MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr., two days after Dempster hit A-Rod in the second inning at Fenway Park. Garagiola also fined Yankees manager Joe Girardi for arguing with plate umpire Brian O'Nora on Sunday night.

Dempster's fine was $2,500, and Girardi's was $5,000, separate people familiar with the discipline told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the amounts were not announced.

Dempster could still play if he appeals the penalty. Boston has off days Thursday and Monday, allowing him to serve the suspension while getting pushed back only a couple days in the Red Sox rotation.

Dempster threw one pitch behind A-Rod's knees and two more inside in the second inning. Then his 3-0 pitch struck Rodriguez's left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back.

• Yasiel Puig was out of the Dodgers' starting lineup against the Marlins, and manager Don Mattingly said the one-day move was made because of the rookie's slump. The young outfielder was hitless in his past 11 at-bats and 6 for 35 (.171) over his past nine games, dropping his average to .351.

• A doctor is recommending that Mets right-hander Jeremy Hefner have Tommy John surgery. Hefner was put on the disabled list last week. He said he's been dealing with a sore elbow all season. The 27-year-old Hefner is 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA.

• Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was scratched from the lineup against the Tigers. Mauer experienced dizziness Tuesday night in batting practice. Mauer is hitting .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBI for the Twins, who sit in fourth place in the AL Central.

• The Indians released Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. He is now a free agent. The former Red Sox right-hander, 32, spent the entire season at Triple-A Columbus, where he went 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts.

— AP

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