Major League Baseball handed Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta an eight-game suspension on Thursday for using pine tar on his glove.

Umpires found the substance on Peralta's mitt during the eighth inning of Tuesday's road game against his former team the Washington Nationals and ejected him from the mound.

Peralta has appealed the decision and can continue playing until the plea process is completed with Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon complaining that the suspension was 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 going to be up to them to try and manipulate it," Maddon said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)