Florida Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez was to begin serving a three-game suspension Friday night for his part in a brawl with the Washington Nationals last week.

Sanchez dropped his appeal as Florida prepared for its first meeting with the Nationals since the confrontation on Sept. 1. He'll miss the three-game series between the teams.

"It just looked like I wasn't going to get any days reduced from it," Sanchez said. "I'd rather take it now and get it over with," Sanchez said.

Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan had an appeal heard Friday. He was suspended eight games and also was awaiting word of an appeal of a seven-game suspension for throwing the ball into the stands in Philadelphia on Aug. 21.

Morgan was in the lineup for Friday's game, batting eighth. Washington manager Jim Riggleman said he didn't contemplate benching Morgan because of possible tensions between the teams.

"I think that whole thing is over with. It's over from our end, and I'm sure it's over from their end," Riggleman said.

Sanchez said that he didn't take the suspension now because of the opponent.

"I feel like the guys on the Nationals understood my position. They knew what I had to do — just like I understood what Morgan was doing. I had to protect my pitchers," Sanchez said.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez chatted with some of Washington's coaches before batting practice, and there was no evidence of residual hostility.

"I'm 100 percent sure of that. Our players are ready to play baseball," Rodriguez said. "It's time to play baseball. Keep that incident in the past."

Washington left-handed pitcher Doug Slaten also dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension and will miss the series. Florida right-handed starters Alex Sanabia (five games) and Chris Volstad (six games) will begin serving suspensions Saturday and Monday. Sanabia is scheduled to pitch for the Marlins on Friday night. Volstad is slated for Sunday.