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Four minor leaguers suspended

NEW YORK -- Two minor league players in the Washington Nationals' system and two other minor league free agents have been suspended 50 games each for violating the drug policy.

Infielder Steven Souza and outfielder J.R. Higley of Class A Hagerstown were penalized Thursday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

The 21-year-old Souza was a third-round draft pick in 2007 and was hitting .231 with 11 home runs, 56 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. The 22-year-old Higley was hitting .233 with two homers and 16 RBIs.

Also suspended were free-agent outfielder Joshua Flores and shortstop Manuel Marquez. Their penalties will become effective if they sign with a major league organization.