NEW YORK — Washington Nationals pitcher A.J. Cole has been suspended for five games and fined for throwing a pitch near the head of Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Saturday.

Cole appealed the punishment announced by Major League Baseball on Tuesday.

Cole is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA in seven starts this season for the NL East champion Nationals. The 24-year-old right-hander is a long shot to make Washington’s postseason roster.