Riske Will Serve Reduced Sentence

Indians reliever David Riske has had his four-game suspension cut to three. He appealed the original penalty that had been handed down for hitting Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki in the back with a pitch on July 29.

Riske went in front of an arbitrator in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Aug. 22, when the Indians were at Tropicana Field to play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in an effort to try and get his four-game suspension and $1,500 fine reduced.

Bob Watson, director of on-field operations, represented Major League Baseball. Robert Lenaghan, assistant general counsel for the players association, accompanied Riske. "I told my side," said Riske, who said the process took about an hour. "I told them I didn't hit him on purpose. Bob Watson told their side."

Riske, whose fine also was reduced an undisclosed sum, will begin serving his suspension Friday night when the Indians open a three-game series at Minnesota.

Cleveland starter Kevin Millwood already served his five-game suspension for intentionally hitting a batter in the same game, while Mariners right-hander Shigetoshi Hasegawa was fined an undisclosed amount, but not suspended for hitting Grady Sizemore with a pitch that night. Tribe manager Eric Wedge and bench coach Robby Thompson also have already served their one-game suspensions for their part in the incident.

MINOR MATTERS

CLASS AAA BUFFALO (79-61)
won at Ottawa, 5-4 to put the finishing touches on winning the North Division championship in the International League. Mike Kinkade (.283) went 3-for-4 and Jason Dubois (.338) had two hits and two RBI. Steve Watkins (9-2, 4.16 ERA) gave up 10 hits over five innings and got the win. He allowed all four runs in the fifth inning. Billy Traber pitched two innings, Andrew Brown worked the eighth and Kazuhito Tadano the ninth for his fifth save.

CLASS AA AKRON (81-57) lost at home to New Britain, 3-2. With the score tied, Juan Lara (1-2, 4.56 ERA) gave up a leadoff single in the top of the ninth and was replaced by Jake Brooks (2.45 ERA). After a failed sacrifice bunt, the new runner stole second, went to third on a balk and scored on a squeeze bunt. Nate Panther (.277) had two of the Aeros' six hits. Starter Victor Kleine (4.40 ERA) allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings.

CLASS A KINSTON (32-34) lost at Winston-Salem, 6-1. Kevin Kouzmanoff (.336) had two of Kinston's five hits and Stephen Head (.293) went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Sean Smith (5-8, 3.60 ERA) allowed four runs over the first 5 1/3 innings. Kieran Mattison (3.33 ERA) gave up two runs over 1 2/3 innings before Matt Davis (5.87 ERA) struck out two in a scoreless eighth.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (31-33) lost at home to Lexington, 11-3, after leading, 2-0. Matt Whitney (.243) hit a solo homer, his fifth, which was one of the Captains' five hits. Cody Bunkelman (5-5, 4.08 ERA), Adrian Schau (4.20 ERA) and Ryan Knippschild 4.22 ERA) all were hit hard in Lake County's five straight loss.

CLASS A MAHONING VALLEY (32-37) got only seven hits and no runs in dropping a doubleheader at Batavia, 3-0 and 1-0. Evandy DeLeon (.250) and Jose Chavez (.242) each had one hit in each game. Ryan Edell (3-4, 2.95 ERA) gave up three runs, but only one was earned, over five innings in the first-game loss with Dustin Roddy (2.80 ERA) striking out two in perfect inning. In the second game, Joe Ness (3-2, 1.82 ERA) was the tough-luck loser, giving up one run over 4 1/3 innings before Matt Knox pitched a perfect 1 2/3 innings.

ROOKIE LEAGUE BURLINGTON (25-43) was not scheduled as it concluded the season on Tuesday. First baseman P.J. Hiser, who was promoted to Mahoning Valley in early August, was named to the Appalachian League All-Star team. He was batting .326 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs before being called up and was Burlington's only selection to the team.

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