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Archive for Saturday, May 20, 2006

Minor-league pitcher nets suspension

May 20, 2006

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— Well-traveled pitcher Nerio Rodriguez, playing this season in the minor leagues for Pittsburgh, was suspended 50 games Friday for using a performance-enhancing substance.

The 35-year-old right-hander was 1-2 with a 4.84 earned run average in eight starts for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Rodriguez previously played for Baltimore, Toronto, Cleveland and St. Louis. He is 4-6 with a 6.32 ERA in 32 games, and has not been in the majors since 2002.

Overall, Rodriguez has played for 19 different clubs since starting his pro career in 1995, including stops in the Japanese and Mexican leagues.

The suspension takes effect Saturday.

Penalties under the minor league drug program were toughened in the offseason - last year, Rodriguez would have been suspended 15 games for initial positive test.

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