David Ortiz will begin serving a reduced three-game suspension Monday night, meaning he will miss all three games of a rematch with the Baltimore Orioles.
Ortiz was originally suspended four games for his actions in a brawl with the Orioles at Fenway Park on July 8. Baltimore reliever Kevin Gregg, who also was suspended four games, threw inside three times on Ortiz and then barked at him after the Red Sox designated hitter slowly jogged to first upon lifting a fly to center. Ortiz charged Gregg and chaos ensued.
Both players appealed their suspensions, and Major League Baseball saw to it that one game was chopped off their respective penalties.
Conveniently, it avoids having those two in the park when the teams meet again with memories of that series still rather fresh. Boston won four straight against the last-place O's in that set, outscoring their American League East foes 32-13. The finale saw multiple players hit by pitches, both managers ejected and Baltimore reliever Michael Gonzalez throw a pitch behind Ortiz.
Ortiz was 6-for-15 with two home runs and six RBIs in the four-game sweep. He is batting .294 with a team-high 19 home runs and 58 RBIs this season.
Without Gregg, Baltimore will likely use Koji Uehara in the closer's role for the series.