David Ortiz and Kevin Gregg begin serving MLB suspensions

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gregg began serving three-game suspensions on Monday after their initial bans were reduced by a game, the two teams said.

The two players were originally suspended four games and handed undisclosed fines by Major League Baseball for inciting the benches to clear on two occasions during a July 8 game in Boston's Fenway Park. After consecutive pitches inside to Ortiz, the Red Sox slugger pointed at Gregg and words were exchanged as the two benches cleared briefly before order was restored.

Ortiz flew out on the next pitch and Gregg shouted at him. Ortiz then charged and met Gregg halfway between the mound and first base line where they swung a few punches and the benches cleared again. Both players were able to keep playing as their suspensions were being appealed but each were out of their team's lineups on Monday after having the bans and initial fine reduced. The Red Sox are in Baltimore on Monday to open a three-game set against the Orioles.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Alastair Himmer)