Venters appealing ban for hitting Fielder

Updated: July 20, 2010, 6:27 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Braves pitcher Jonny Venters' appeal of his four-game suspension for throwing consecutive pitches at Milwaukee's Prince Fielder will be heard on July 27 in Washington.

Venters will remain eligible to play until the appeal. The Braves begin a three-game series at the Washington Nationals on the day of the appeal.

Manager Bobby Cox served his one-game suspension in Tuesday night's series opener against the San Diego Padres. Bench coach Chino Cadahia was picked to fill in for Cox.

Cox continued to insist Venters did not try to hit Fielder on Saturday.

"Absolutely not intentional," Cox said Tuesday.

Venters threw a pitch over Fielder's head and his next pitch hit him in the back Saturday. Both teams were warned after the first pitch, and Venters and Cox were ejected after the second pitch hit Fielder.

The incident came one inning after Fielder's homer started a five-run inning for the Brewers in a 6-3 win.

Cox and Venters say the pitch over Fielder's head was a slider, not a fastball. Venters, a rookie left-hander, said he'll show at his appeal that the four batters he has hit this season have been left-handed hitters.

Cox's ejection was his record 156th and third this season.

Meanwhile, Cox said outfielder Nate McLouth is expected to come off the disabled list on Wednesday.

McLouth has been out since suffering a head injury on June 9 at Arizona. McLouth collided with Jason Heyward in the outfield and McLouth's head slammed to the turf.

McLouth is hitting only .176 with three home runs in 170 at-bats.

Cox said he wanted McLouth to "work out hard" with the team on Tuesday before coming off the disabled list.

"His eyes look good," Cox said of McLouth.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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