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Papelbon banned 7 games for lewd gesture

(AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

SAN DIEGO (AP) Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended seven games and fined Monday night by Major League Baseball for making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire.

Papelbon said in a statement distributed by his agent that he would immediately begin serving the suspension, and that he regrets making contact with umpire Joe West on Sunday.

But the right-hander insisted he wasn't making a vulgar motion toward fans as he walked off the field to boos after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of Philadelphia's 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. He apologized to Phillies fans in the statement.

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