NEW YORK (AP) -Phillies reliever Antonio Alfonseca was suspended for four games Friday, a day after he was ejected for hitting Colorado's Todd Helton with a pitch.
Alfonseca appealed the suspension and was available for the opener of Philadelphia's crucial weekend series against the NL East-leading New York Mets.
``I think four days is kind of harsh,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``I think that's a little tough.''
Alfonseca, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, hit Helton in the arm with two outs in the seventh inning of the Phillies' 12-4 win over the Rockies. Alfonseca said he wasn't trying to hit the Colorado slugger and was upset with the punishment.
``I don't understand it,'' he said.
Helton took the diplomatic approach when discussing the incident Friday before the Rockies hosted the Florida Marlins.
``It was a tough series,'' Helton said. ``You're playing for something. There's a lot of emotion involved. Stuff like that happens.
``It was coming right at my face. That's never a good situation.''
Asked if he was surprised Alfonseca went after Helton when he did, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle simply said, ``Yeah.''
Hurdle then grew irritated talking about the incident.
``I'm not going to stay here for 15 minutes talking about Alfonseca's suspension,'' Hurdle said.
Alfonseca said he thought his appeal would be heard when the Phillies are in Washington later this month.
Phillies star Chase Utley was hit in the second inning of the victory over Colorado.

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