Frank Francisco, one of three Rangers relievers suspended for their part in a bullpen brawl with fans in Oakland earlier this week, began serving his season-ending ban yesterday.

Francisco was suspended by the commissioner's office Friday for the rest of the season -- 16 games -- for throwing a chair that struck a woman and broke her nose during Monday's game.

The right-hander appealed the suspension and pitched one inning in the Rangers' 9-5 loss to the Angels on Friday night.

* BONDS CONNECTION: The fan who retrieved Barry Bonds's 700th home run attended the same private Catholic school as the slugger -- Serra High in nearby San Mateo.

Steven Williams, 25, was one year behind New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Williams, who now lives in Pacifica, used to be a junior college pitcher before blowing out his knee and being forced "to get a real job."

"I didn't catch it. It rolled to me," said Williams, now working for a mortgage broker. "My heart was thumping. I thought someone else had the ball in the pile. Someone then said, 'You have to get off my legs, you're hurting them.' And the pile began to break up, and that's when I saw the ball as it rolled by me. It was four inches from me and I grabbed it."

* GERUT TO HAVE SURGERY: Indians OF Jody Gerut needs surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and could miss the start of next season.

-- From News Services