Two days after hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch, Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster was suspended for five games. Major League Baseball issued the following press release:

Pitcher Ryan Dempster of the Boston Red Sox has received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing at and hitting Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees with a pitch in the top of the second inning of Sunday night's game at Fenway Park. Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

Unless appealed, Dempster's suspension is scheduled to begin tonight, when the Red Sox are to continue their road series at San Francisco. If appealed, Dempster's suspension will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

In addition, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has received an undisclosed fine for his argument with Umpire Brian O'Nora.

Girardi was livid after Rodriguez was hit—Dempster's earlier pitches ended up behind A-Rod's knees and on the inside before his 3-0 pitch hit Rodriguez in the elbow pad.

Girardi said today before Dempster's suspension was announced, "That baseball is a weapon. It’s not a tennis ball. … It’s a weapon, and it can do a lot of damage to someone’s life. And that’s why I was so upset about it. You can express your opinion and be upset with someone, but you just can’t start throwing baseballs at people. I mean, it’s scary," adding that if Dempster wasn't punished, then it would be "open season for people, and that can’t happen. It’s not fair."

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After Rodriguez was hit by the ball; manager Joe Girardi got thrown out of the game (AP)

Dempster has denied deliberately aiming at Rodriguez, but, per USA Today, "It was the first time in Dempster's 16-year career, according to the Boston Herald, that Dempster hit a batter on a 3-and-0 count." Boston.com's Chad Finn bemoaned Dempster, "He shouldn't have been thinking about being the PED Avenger; he should have been thinking about getting his fourth out of the ballgame."