Boston outfielder Coco Crisp, Tampa Bay pitcher James Shields and six other players were suspended yesterday following a pair of altercations at Fenway Park.
Three Red Sox were suspended: Crisp for seven games, pitcher Jon Lester for five games and first baseman Sean Casey for three games.
Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson penalized five Rays: Shields for six games, outfielder Jonny Gomes and pitcher Edwin Jackson for five games, outfielder Carl Crawford for four games and second baseman Akinori Iwamura for three games.
All eight players also were fined undisclosed sums, a day after a bench-clearing brawl in Boston's 7-1 win over the Rays.
"I want to be very clear: I defend everything our guys did," Rays manager Joe Maddon said yesterday. "I feel actually proud of the way we handled the situation that was presented."
Crisp, who made a hard slide into Iwamura on Wednesday night, was hit by a pitch from Shields the first time he came up Thursday night and charged the mound. Crisp and Shields threw punches, and mayhem followed.
The starting dates of the suspensions were staggered, so as to not leave either team shorthanded.
Crisp, Shields and Gomes all appealed their penalties and will continue to play until the appeal process is complete.
Lester, suspended for throwing a pitch at a Tampa Bay hitter after a warning had been issued, will not appeal and immediately began sitting out.
In another Red Sox matter, slugger Manny Ramirez said he was putting his dugout dustup with teammate Kevin Youkilis behind him. A Red Sox source told ESPNdeportes.com that the cause of the disagreement was Youkilis' display of temper after a poor at-bat.
* Righthander Sidney Ponson, who seemed to have his career back on track, was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers. General manager Jon Daniels said Ponson was dumped "for disrespecting teammates and club personnel."
* Yankees reliever LaTroy Hawkins began serving a three-game suspension after his penalty was upheld by the commissioner's office. He was disciplined for throwing at Baltimore's Luke Scott last month.
In games last night:
* At Arlington, Texas, Scott Kazmir (6-1) went 8 innings to win his career-best sixth straight start, Evan Longoria hit one of Tampa Bay's four homers and the Rays beat the Rangers, 12-4.
* At Detroit, Casey Blake had a two-run double in Cleveland's three-run fourth, leading the Indians, 4-2, over the Tigers.
* At Toronto, Melvin Mora, Kevin Millar and Adam Jones all homered in Baltimore's six-run eighth inning and the Orioles beat the Blue Jays, 6-5.
* At New York, Kyle Davies (2-0) allowed one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Kansas City Royals beat the Yankees, 2-1.
* At Chicago, Joe Crede homered twice and Carlos Quentin had a three-run shot as the White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins, 10-6.
* At Boston, Felix Hernandez (4-5) held a Red Sox lineup without Manny Ramirez (hamstring) and David Ortiz (wrist) to six hits over 6 innings as the Seattle Mariners snapped a four-game losing streak with an 8-0 victory. *