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Associated Press
Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist, front, slides into third safely after tagging up on a fly out by Hideki Matsui during the sixth inning of a baseball game, as Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman catches the throw Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON — Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for having pine tar on his glove.

Peralta has appealed, and can continue to play until the process is complete. The Rays were at Washington on Thursday night.

Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night's game in Washington after umpires found pine tar on his mitt.

The incident led to a verbal spat between managers Joe Maddon of the Rays and Davey Johnson of the Nationals.

"I just know that we're appealing right now so I've got to sit tight and see," Peralta said.

"I'm allowed to pitch today and that's all I care about right now."

Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals during the 2010 season, said his former teammates approached him before Wednesday's game and were supportive. He didn't suspect that they turned him in.

"I knew it wasn't them," Peralta said. "I knew when they did it was not coming from the players. That made me feel good. I know they like me."

He said he didn't know Johnson.

"I don't know why he did it," Peralta said. "I would like to know, but I'm not gonna ask that."

Maddon feels the suspension is excessive.

"Of course it's too much, and of course it's unfair, but that's the way they came down with it and it's gonna be up to them to try and manipulate it," Maddon said.

Johnson declined to comment on the suspension on Thursday afternoon.

Peralta hopes to get the suspension reduced.

"First time it's ever happened to me. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to expect," Peralta said.

"It feels a little relief to know at least what it's gonna be."

After Tuesday's game, Maddon denounced Johnson's actions as cowardly, bush and bogus.

Johnson retorted that Maddon should "read the rule book" and that he was "a weird wuss."

During the 1988 National League championship series, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jay Howell was suspended for three games after being caught with pine tar on his glove. The suspension was reduced by a game by appeal. In that series, Johnson was the manager of the Dodgers' opponent, the New York Mets.

KEMP HOPES TO PLAY IN ALL-STAR GAME: Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp still is optimistic about playing in the All-Star game next month in Kansas City — as long as he's sure he will be healthy for the stretch run with NL West-leading Los Angeles.

Whether manager Don Mattingly and the medical staff give him the go-ahead is another question altogether. Kemp said he and Mattingly have discussed the All-Star game and will do so again.

"Of course I want to play but I've got to do what's best for the team," Kemp said Thursday, before going through an extensive rehab workout of running on the field. "If I'm not ready, I can't play, but as of right now I plan on playing. We've discussed some stuff. When that point comes, we'll get to it and figure out what we're going to do."

Kemp has been on the disabled list for a second time this season since May 31 with the same strained left hamstring that first sidelined him from May 14-29.

Kemp, the runner-up for last year's NL MVP and the National League's All-Star votes leader with 3,322,009 in baseball's latest count this week, insists he won't play in the Midsummer Classic if there is any question he won't be healthy for the long haul.

BEACHY'S SURGERY SUCCESSFUL: The Braves say Brandon Beachy has had successful right elbow ligament-replacement surgery.

The operation to reconstruct the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in Beachy's elbow was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla., on Thursday. Andrews has performed many of the ligament replacement operations known as Tommy John surgery.

Beachy faces a recovery period of at least one year and will miss the remainder of the season.

TULOWITZKI HAS SURGERY: Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had surgery on his left groin on Thursday to remove scar tissue and will miss at least six weeks.

Tulowitzki, who has been sidelined since May 30, was hitting .287 with eight homers and 27 RBIs in 47 games this season.