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Hunter drops appeal, starts suspension

ARLINGTON -- Twins right fielder Torii Hunter dropped his appeal and began serving his two-game suspension on Saturday against the Rangers. He'll miss Sunday's game and will rejoin the Twins on Monday in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

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Hunter's suspension was announced on Friday and he immediately appealed, but decided to drop his appeal before Saturday's game. He was also fined an undisclosed amount for his actions during the eighth inning of Wednesday's game against the Royals.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said the decision was made after Hunter came to the clubhouse still feeling ill on Saturday after dealing with flu-like symptoms overnight. Hunter also lives in the Dallas area, so he was able to rest at home.

"Torii had a rough night physically and was battling a little bit of the fever and flu symptoms," Molitor said. "He wanted to play, but when we thought about the heat and the dehydration and all those things, we tried to put our heads together with his agent, [general manager] Terry [Ryan] and myself. So we figured if he was going to miss today, why don't we carry this, so this way, we'll have a deeper bench for the Interleague series on Monday."

Hunter was ejected by home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger for arguing balls and strikes, and then proceeded to take off his protective gear and jersey and threw them onto the field.

He said Friday that he believed the suspension was too harsh and was looking to have it reduced. He apologized for his actions but said it was just his passion that caused the tirade. Hunter, though, wasn't available for comment on Saturday, as he's not allowed to be at Globe Life Park while suspended.

Hunter was in the original lineup, batting fifth and starting in right field. Eddie Rosario started in right field in Hunter's place, while Eduardo Escobar started in left field. Center fielder Aaron Hicks was also scratched with a sore right elbow, giving Shane Robinson the start in center and leaving the Twins with Kurt Suzuki as their only healthy player on their bench.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.
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