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Kevin Cash didn’t want to jinx the roll the Tampa Bay hitters were on Melvin Gordon Jersey , so he just stayed at his spot in the dugout and didn’t say a word.

The Rays‘ manager didn’t need to say anything. The hitters had everything under control.

Jake Bauers homered for the second straight game and drove in four runs, Carlos Gomez homered and had two RBIs, and Tampa Bay scored 15 times in the final three innings to rally past the Minnesota Twins 19-6 on Saturday.

”I just watched, man,” Cash said. ”I don’t talk to hitters. I don’t look at hitters. I don’t say anything. I let (hitting coach Chad Mottola) handle that.”

C.J. Cron hit a two-run homer and Jesus Sucre, who entered in the sixth for injured catcher Wilson Ramos, drove in two runs for the Rays. They posted season-highs in runs and tied a season-high with 20 hits. Tampa Bay entered the game 2-34 this season when trailing after six innings.

”Part fun, part exhausting,” said the rookie Bauers, who is hitting .398 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in his past seven games. ”I don’t think anyone in here wanted to lose three straight, let alone the series if we do drop that game.”

Jamie Schultz (1-0) earned his first major league win with 2 2/3 hitless innings in relief as the Rays overcame a short start by Chris Archer.

Zach Duke (3-3) gave up three runs and managed to retire just two batters in relief of Minnesota starter Jose Berrios. Eddie Rosario had three hits and two RBIs, but the Twins fell for the second time in nine games on their current homestand.

Six of Tampa Bay’s runs scored with two outs.

”We tried to stay close the best we could,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. ”We just couldn’t get that last pitch to get off the field and give us a chance to keep it within striking distance. And then obviously the old 5-5-5 area code at the end was a little bit too much.”

Berrios, who is headed to his first All-Star game next week, gave up six runs for the second time in four starts.

”It was one of those days I felt strong,” Berrios said. ”I’m healthy. I’m feeling good out there the first few innings, but that’s kind of how it went today.”

Matt Duffy Patrick Robinson Jersey , Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechavarria all had three hits for the Rays. Duffy later left the game after twisting his ankle on a swing in the eighth, but Cash said he was removed because of the score and is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday.


Archer threw 93 pitches in his second start off the disabled list after missing a month with a left abdominal strain. He gave up two runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

”I thought Arch was pretty good,” Cash said. ”The pitch count got high, but stuff appeared to be back in order with what we’ve typically seen with the fastball and the slider.”


Ramos, named the starting catcher for the American League in next week’s All-Star game, left the game in the sixth inning with left hamstring tightness. He said he won’t play in the All-Star game and is ”probably” going to need a stint on the disabled list. He was injured running to first on a groundout.

”I was very excited to participate in that game,” Ramos said. ”Now, it’s very sad because I will be out of the lineup. I worked really hard to make that team.”


The Twins placed right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers on the disabled list after the game with right shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to July 11. Slegers (1-1, 5.68), had been temporarily moved to the bullpen after his last start when he gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings.


Rays: INF Christian Arroyo (10-day disabled list, left oblique strain) was expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday for his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. Arroyo had left Thursday’s game with discomfort in his left hand.

Twins: OF Byron Buxton was put on the Triple-A disabled list with a strained left wrist after an MRI showed inflammation in the wrist. … RHP Ervin Santana is scheduled to start Sunday for Triple-A Rochester as he works his way back from finger surgery. … Molitor said 1B Logan Morrison might not need a rehab assignment as he recovers from a left hip impingement. Molitor said RHP Addison Reed could need a rehab assignment and that the reliever might need more than the 10 days for his right triceps tightness.


Both teams waited until after Saturday’s game before designating their starter for Sunday afternoon’s series finale. Tampa Bay will turn to Ryne Stanek (1-2, 1.93 ERA), who has served as the team’s ”opener” when it plans a bullpen day. With Slegers going on the disabled list, the Twins will recall right-hander Fernando Romero from Triple-A Rochester to start Sunday. Romero (3-3, 4.38) made 10 starters earlier this season for Minnesota. He was 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three Triple-A starts since being optioned following his last start on June 22.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Doug Middleton was impressing the New York Jets with his playmaking skills last summer when a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the season.

The young safety refused to wallow in disappointment. He hit the books — and his rehabilitation — with fierce determination.

Nearly a year later, Middleton has a master’s degree in public administration from Appalachian State on his resume. He also created a nonprofit in honor of his best friend who took his own life last summer. And Saquon Barkley Jersey , he’s having another terrific training camp while competing for a job in Todd Bowles’ secondary.

“Yeah, I’m proud, very happy,” Middleton said after a recent practice. “I mean, pretty much all that came from me starting my foundation and me having a position whenever football does come to an end, I’m pretty much taken care of. It just handled a lot of different things for me and just made me feel comfortable and more at peace when I’m out here now.”

The 24-year-old Middleton graduated from Appalachian State in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He entered the graduate program during his redshirt senior year and started chipping away at his master’s with a concentration in town, city and county management.

When he got hurt in the Jets’ preseason opener against Tennessee last August, Middleton wasted no time coming up with a game plan.

“It was pretty crazy,” he said with a big smile. “In the offseason before my second year, I finished my second semester in the program. Once I got hurt, I asked Coach Bowles pretty much the day after they said I was going to be out for the season, I was like, ‘I want to go home and finish my master’s.’

“He said he was cool and told me to just go back home and rehab there and finish school.”

So, Middleton headed to North Carolina and drove what he estimates was about 1,000 miles a week between his home in Winston-Salem to rehab in Charlotte and classes in Boone on campus at Appalachian State.

He spent several hours a day trying to get his body healthy again for football. And, then he was putting in lots of classroom work to earn his master’s degree. Middleton also secured an internship with the city of Charlotte and Charlotte Water.

“A lot of people looked at it like, ‘Oh Mark Bavaro Jersey , he’s on IR. He’s got a vacation,'” Middleton said. “It wasn’t really like that.”

Not at all.

Middleton worked with the chief financial officer of Charlotte Water during his internship, regularly taking part in budget meetings. Charlotte Water supplies water to the city and its municipalities, so Middleton had to make sure that guidelines were being followed and helped work on the next budget for the city.

The experience was invaluable to Middleton, who received his master’s in May and wants to be a city manager when his football career ends.

Oh, and get this: He’s already working on getting his second master’s from Appalachian State, this one in finance.

“I came up with this plan about halfway through my senior year,” Middleton said. “I started in the accelerated program for my MPA and I just always had it in the back of my head that you can’t play football forever. No matter if I play 10 years or two years, whenever it happened and came to an end, I’d be on my feet and ready to go. That’s what it’s all been about. I still hope to play 10 years and whatever happens in between, I can really sit back and just enjoy football now.”

He’s certainly playing that way.

Middleton, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016, has been a consistent standout during practices this summer while filling in for the injured Marcus Maye with the starters early in camp and also working on special teams.

“Before he got hurt (last year), Doug was coming on,” Bowles said. “Obviously, he’s a swing player — he can play both (safety) spots. Any time you’re a swing player, that makes you valuable. He’s just in the right space at the right time.”

Middleton has also been motivated by the memory of his childhood buddy A.J. Morrison Earl Thomas Jersey , who killed himself a week before the safety reported for training camp last summer.

Middleton spoke at the funeral, which was the day before he had to report to the team.

“There were a lot of mixed emotions while trying to focus on camp and getting ready for my second year,” he said, “but at the same time, I was grieving the death of my best friend.”

He got on a plane later that night and headed to New Jersey to join his teammates. But, Middleton knew he needed to do more.

Last December, he established the “Dream The Impossible” initiative in Morrison’s memory to help promote mental health awareness. He set up a Christmas event during which 32 disadvantaged kids were provided with holiday gifts and dinner while also learning about mental health. It earned him one of the NFL’s Community MVP awards last season.

“He fights battles that he doesn’t even know and he helps people he doesn’t even realize,” Middleton said of his late friend. “It may sound bad, kind of, but his life has helped so many other people and is going to continue to help so many people. He’s had a very positive impact on this world.”

Middleton is working to do the same — on and off the field — while also trying to serve as an example to youngsters.

“I try to find the positive in every situation, as you can tell,” Middleton said with a big smile. “No matter what it is, I just try to roll with it and figure it out.”

Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:34 am
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