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09/06/08 11:28 PM ET

Hernandez tests positive for PEDs

Right-hander will be suspended for 50 games next season

DENVER -- Runelvys Hernandez, who made four starts for the Astros this year and most recently pitched for Triple-A Round Rock, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine, the Commissioner's Office announced on Saturday.

Amphetamines are considered a performance-enhancing substance and are in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Hernandez will be effective at the start of next season.

"We strongly believe in the Commissioner's drug-testing program, and we are disappointed in the choice that Runelvys made," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "Major League Baseball and the 30 clubs have taken great strides toward eliminating the use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball, and we are fully supportive of all measures to ensure a clean game."

Hernandez was 0-3 with an 8.38 ERA for the Astros this year, allowing 18 earned runs over 19 1/3 innings. He was with the Astros two separate times, with his most recent demotion arriving on July 28, when the club activated Roy Oswalt from the disabled list.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.