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08/20/08 7:45 PM ET

Lohse appeals suspension, holds spot

Cards ace penalized for throwing past Volquez in retaliation

ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start for the Cardinals on Saturday after deciding to appeal the five-game suspension imposed on him Wednesday by Major League Baseball.

Lohse received the suspension and an undisclosed fine for throwing a pitch in the head area of Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez on Sunday in Cincinnati. The announcement came from Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for MLB.

"I was surprised and pretty disappointed," Lohse said. "My intent wasn't to hit anybody. My intent was to make the opposing pitcher feel as uncomfortable as I did the at-bat before. The way they interpreted it, it seems like they feel I was trying to hit him."

Lohse has been a big key in helping to put the Cardinals in position to shoot for the National League Wild Card spot. He'll take the mound Saturday with a 13-6 record and a 3.94 ERA in 27 starts.

Should the five-game suspension hold, Lohse would be pushed back from making one turn on regular rest in the rotation.

"I was just trying to keep the inside part of the plate, like it was kept when I was at bat, and a couple of our other guys," Lohse said. "I feel like that was part of the game."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa also expressed puzzlement at the suspension.

"I don't understand it," La Russa said. "The other guy threw two balls at guys' heads. I was shocked."

Under the appeal, the discipline will be held in abeyance until the process is completed.

Volquez, who was not disciplined, learned of the Lohse suspension prior to the Cubs-Reds game.

"I don't know if he really tried to hit me," Volquez said. "Maybe he was trying to take me out of the game a little bit, and mess with my concentration."

Volquez denied having any ill intent when he nearly hit Lohse with a pitch.

"I don't want to hit a pitcher," Volquez said. "If I'm going to hit somebody, it'd be position players."

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.