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Sheffield Will Appeal Suspension

Dodger outfielder Gary Sheffield and Pittsburgh Pirate catcher Jason Kendall were each suspended for three games Tuesday by National League President Leonard Coleman for their roles in igniting a bench-clearing brawl Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

Sheffield plans to appeal the decision, which stemmed from his sixth-inning wrestling match with Kendall that led to both players being ejected in the Pirates’ 6-4 come-from-behind victory.

Sheffield will continue to play until his appeal is heard, which would likely occur in mid-July.

“I feel this is totally unfair,” said Sheffield, who said he will decline an invitation to the All-Star game if he is selected as a reserve. “I was running back to the dugout and minding my own business when he started saying stuff to me, and that’s when I reacted.”

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The Dodgers led, 4-1, with one out in the sixth when the altercation began. Sheffield was tagged out at the plate by Kendall while trying to score from third base when pinch-unner Roger Cedeno, who was on first, got caught off base on a pickoff play.

Sheffield tried to avoid the tag, and Kendall’s helmet came off during the play. Kendall claimed Sheffield hit him on the back of his head, and they exchanged words that sparked the brawl.

“All I did was run by him and his helmet came off,” said Sheffield, who needed five stitches above his left eye to close a cut he suffered during the altercation. “I didn’t try to run him over or put him in the stands, I just ran past him, so it was surprising to get that reaction from him.

“To keep saying what he was in front of 40,000, 50,000 people, he was testing my manhood. That’s when I reacted.”

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*

Pitcher Ramon Martinez underwent season-ending shoulder surgery at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood.

Team physician Frank Jobe performed the two-hour procedure to repair an increased tear on Martinez’s right rotator cuff, and he cleaned up cartilage damage on the shoulder.

Martinez, who Jobe said will begin his rehabilitation program today, isn’t expected to pitch for at least a year.

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“We feel we got a good repair, and we expect him to pitch again, but it will be about a year,” Jobe said. “I think he will come all the way back, and we think he can have the velocity that he had before.”

The Dodgers are not expected to pick up the $5.6-million option in Martinez’s contract for next season, buying it out for $600,000.

TONIGHT

DODGERS’ DENNIS REYES (0-4, 4.56 ERA)

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vs.

RANGERS’ TODD VAN POPPEL (1-1, 7.84 ERA)

The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, 5:30 PDT.

TV--Fox Sports West 2. Radio--AM 1150, KWKW (1330).

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* Update--Reyes is 0-2 since assuming Martinez’s spot in the starting rotation. He has lost five consecutive decisions since last season.


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