- Associated Press - Saturday, June 18, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) - Manny Machado begrudgingly accepted his four-game suspension for charging the mound, simply because the Baltimore Orioles third baseman knew arguing his position was probably pointless.

Machado dropped his appeal of his suspension Saturday and will begin serving the punishment on Sunday.

“Let’s just get this past us already and keep playing baseball,” Machado said after the Orioles beat Toronto 4-2.

The suspension stems from a June 7 game in which Machado rushed toward Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura after being hit in the back with a 99 mph fastball.

Machado punched Ventura in the face and was subsequently tackled by the right-hander as both benches and bullpens emptied.



Major League Baseball slapped a four-game suspension and a fine on Machado, who immediately appealed.

“I think MLB felt it was fair what they gave me and I don’t think they were going to get it down, which is, I mean, it’s their opinion against mine,” Machado said. “We’ve got this process. It’s done and over. I’ll sit down for the four games and be ready to help this team get to the playoffs.”

Machado will miss Sunday’s game against Toronto, a makeup game in Texas on Monday and a two-game series against San Diego on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two-time All-Star is batting .317 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs.

When he begins his suspension, Machado’s run of 229 consecutive starts - the longest current streak in the majors - will come to an end.

“I’m getting penalized for something that someone else does,” Machado said. “I’ll start a new streak Friday.”

It’s the second time in his career that Machado has been suspended. He missed five games in 2014 after throwing his bat toward third base following an inside pitch from Oakland’s Fernando Abad.

In the game against Kansas City, Ventura threw two inside pitches to Machado in the second inning with the Orioles leading 5-0. After Machado was retired on a flyball, he yelled at the pitcher.

When Machado returned to the plate in the fifth, Ventura plunked him with the first pitch and Machado immediately headed toward the mound.

“I don’t regret anything,” the Machado said after the game. “When somebody’s throwing 99 at you, it’s going to hurt. You can ruin someone’s career. You don’t think in that situation. You just react to it.”

Ventura began serving his eight-game suspension - reduced from nine games - on Saturday.

“It’s not right that he’s going to be missing one start and I’m going to be missing four games,” Machado said. “I mean, this whole problem started with him, so why do I get four and he gets one?”

Manager Buck Showalter figured an appeal would have been difficult to win.

“Otherwise, we would have done that,” Showalter said. “That was not going to happen.”

So the Orioles and Machado chose to begin the suspension on Sunday.

“It’s going to start somewhere,” Showalter said, “and it’s going to be painful any way you do it.”

___

This story has been corrected to show that the brawl occurred during a game on June 7, not June 8.

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