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Astros minor leaguer gets 50-game drug suspension

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Jonathan Singleton played in last summer's All-Star Futures game in Kansas City, Mo.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A minor league player in the Houston Astros' organization was suspended 50 games Wednesday after a second violation for a drug of abuse.

First baseman Jonathan Singleton was penalized Wednesday by the commissioner's office. He was the first player banned this year under the minor league drug program.

The 21-year-old Singleton hit .284 with 21 home runs and 79 RBIs at Double-A Corpus Christi. Singleton, who also plays outfield, was traded by selected by Philadelphia on the eighth round of the 2009 amateur draft and traded to Houston in July 2011 in the deal for Hunter Pence.

"We are disappointed in the decisions that Jonathan made leading up to this positive test," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Jonathan has expressed regret for his decision, and we expect will take the necessary steps to ensure this doesn't happen again. He has owned up to his actions and that is a necessary first step. The Astros will support Jonathan through this difficult time and we hope this example will prevent other athletes from making similar decisions."

There were 105 suspensions last year under the minor league drug problem and eight under the major league program.

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