Rangers relievers Frank Francisco, Doug Brocail and Carlos Almanzar yesterday dropped their appeals of suspensions that stemmed from the altercation with fans near the Texas bullpen in Oakland last week.

Each suspension was reduced by one game, the Rangers announced last night.

Francisco threw a plastic chair into the stands near the visitors' bullpen in Oakland that broke the nose of a woman whose husband had been heckling throughout the Sept. 13 game. Francisco started serving his 16-game suspension Saturday, pending an appeal.

Francisco's suspension was reduced to 15 games, which still will carry through the final game of the regular season.

Almanzar began serving his four-game suspension last night, and will be eligible to return Sunday, the day Brocail will begin his six-game suspension.

Almanzar and Brocail both pitched Tuesday night. Almanzar left the game with two outs in the ninth inning with tightness in his forearm and his availability to pitch the next couple of days was in question anyway. Each pitcher would be eligible for the postseason if the team makes the playoffs.

* ORDONEZ ON THE MEND: White Sox OF Magglio Ordonez's injured left knee is starting to heal and he's close to beginning his rehabilitation process, GM Ken Williams said.

-- From News Services