Baltimore Orioles reliever Steve Kline was suspended four games and fined $3,000 by the commissioner's office for his confrontation with umpires after being called for a balk in Monday's game against the New York Yankees. Kline has appealed but no date has been set for a hearing.

"The reasons were his inappropriate and aggressive actions in the top of the eighth inning and for his comments after the game," said Pat Courtney, baseball's vice president of public relations.

Kline became enraged when plate umpire Marty Foster called a balk during an at-bat against Jason Giambi. The balk moved Jorge Posada to second base. He eventually scored the winning run. After the game Kline said umpires show a preference for the Yankees. Courtney wouldn't speculate how many games Kline would have received if he didn't make those comments.

"It's a joke," Kline said. "I've seen some worse things than what I did. They're coming down hard on me to make a point."

Talking Trades

According to several sources, the Orioles have had conversations with the Florida Marlins about acquiring pitcher A.J. Burnett. The sources say Baltimore also expressed interest in third baseman Mike Lowell, who likely would be moved to first base if acquired by the Orioles. A deal for Burnett could include Lowell, who is making $7.5 million this season and is signed through next year. The cost-cutting Marlins might try to unload his salary. . . .

Wednesday's rainout against the New York Yankees has been rescheduled for Sept. 26 at 7:05 p.m.