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Associated Press

Orioles hit 3 HRs off Chris Archer in 6-3 victory over Rays

Adam Jones hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning, Hyun Soo Kim and Jonathan Schoop also went deep, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on a cold, damp Monday night at Camden Yards.

All three home runs were off Chris Archer (2-1), who gave up five runs, six hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander didn’t allow a long ball in his previous four starts this season.

Baltimore trailed 3-1 before Kim and Schoop connected on successive pitches in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Archer hit Seth Smith with a pitch, and Jones followed with a drive deep into the left-field seats.

It was the fifth win in seven games for the Orioles, whose 13-5 record is best in the American League.

Corey Dickerson homered for the Rays, who fell to 1-7 on the road.

Coming off an intense three-game series against the Red Sox that drew huge crowds to Camden Yards, the Orioles performed before 11,142 hearty fans, most of whom didn’t make a whole lot of noise until Kim and Schoop got Baltimore’s offense going.

Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez allowed three runs, three hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings. After he gave up four walks and a double in the fourth, Vidal Nuno entered with the bases loaded and struck out Dickerson and Kevin Kiermaier.

Mychal Givens (3-0) followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Brad Brach worked the ninth for his fourth save.

Dickerson put the Rays in front with his third career leadoff homer, all this season. Tampa Bay leads the majors with 25 first-inning runs.

Smith doubled and scored on a groundout by Chris Davis in the third. Smith had been sidelined since April 18 with a strained right hamstring.

Shane Peterson‘s two-run double gave the Rays a 3-1 lead in the fourth. The liner landed so close to the right field foul line that Orioles manager Buck Showalter asked for a replay, but the call stood.

DEBUT

Tampa Bay reliever Chih-Wei Hu made his major league debut in the ninth inning, getting three straight outs. Recalled from Triple-A Durham on Sunday, the right-hander is the first Taiwan-born player in Rays history.

BARNES SUSPENDED

Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined for throwing a fastball past the head of Baltimore’s Manny Machado on Sunday.

The commissioner’s office issued the penalty Monday. Barnes is appealing, meaning the reliever can continue to pitch until the process is done.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. received an exciting present for his 28th birthday Monday: He was selected the AL Player of the Week. Souza batted .414 with three home runs and nine RBIs.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Kiermaier was in the starting lineup after being hampered by an illness over the weekend. “I’m still not where I want to be, but definitely on the right track,” he said.

Orioles: Closer Zach Britton (left forearm strain) played catch from about 90 feet on Monday before his scheduled appointment with a hand specialist. If all goes well, the left-hander will have a full side session on Wednesday, Showalter said. … OF Joey Rickard (sprained finger) went 1 for 4 in his rehabilitation stint with Class A Delmarva on Monday.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 3.07 ERA) makes his second start since April 2016 after beating Detroit last Thursday. In 29 starts with the Rays, he’s lost once when receiving at least two runs of support.

Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (1-0, 1.87 ERA) seeks an encore for his 11-strikeout performance in Cincinnati last week.

Republished with permission from the Associated Press.

 

Confirmation of 4 Florida agency heads going to Senate floor

The confirmation of four agency heads in Florida Gov. Rick Scott‘s administration will be headed to the Senate floor.

The Ethics and Elections Committee on Monday voted in support of the confirmations of Jeffrey Bragg as Secretary of Elderly Affairs, Dr. Celeste Philip as Surgeon General, Justin Senior as Secretary of Health Care Administration and Glenn Sutphin as Director of Department of Veterans Affairs.

All four are expected to be approved by the full Senate.

Last year, Dr. John Armstrong had to resign as Surgeon General, marking the first time since 1995 that an agency head had lost his job by not being confirmed. It also marked the first time since 1975 that a governor and Legislature of the same party were at odds over a confirmation.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Disgraced Sen. Frank Artiles paid Hooters, Playboy models as ‘consultants’

Artiles hired Heather Thomas (left) and Brittney Singletary (right) as campaign consultants

A newspaper is reporting that a Florida state senator who resigned this week after using a racial slur hired a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model with no political experience to be consultants for his political action committee last year.

The Miami Herald reports Saturday that state records show that Frank Artiles‘ PAC, Veterans for Conservative Principals, had paid former Hooters model Heather Thomas $2,000 and former Playboy model Brittney Singletary $1,500. They were listed as consultants.

Artiles’ political consultant David Custin refused to answer the paper’s questions. Singletary said she did fundraising for the PAC. Thomas declined to comment.

Artiles, a Republican, resigned Friday after he used vulgarities and a variation of the N-word in a barroom conversation with two black colleagues earlier in the week.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Campbell Park Elementary principal apologizes for racially insensitive email

The new principal of a predominantly black elementary school is apologizing after emailing her staff that white students should be in the same class.

Christine Hoffman sent the email last Tuesday to the staff at Campbell Park Elementary School. According to the Tampa Bay Times, she was setting criteria for setting up classes for next year. Also included were instructions that classes should have a mix of reading levels, an equal number of boys and girls and no more than two children with disciplinary problems. Of the school’s 606 students, 49 are white.

Hoffman sent emails and letters to both her staff and parents apologizing, saying she will learn from her mistake. The Pinellas County School District says it is developing a corrective plan for Hoffman.

The NAACP called the email baffling.

Gov. Scott delays trip to Argentina due to wildfires

Gov. Rick Scott is delaying his planned trade mission to Argentina due to wildfires that are burning in several parts of the state.

Scott was scheduled to leave late Saturday for a five-day trip to Buenos Aires. A final decision has not yet been made on whether to cancel the trip completely.

The governor has been monitoring the wildfires and visited one site in southwest Florida.

The Argentina trip is supposed to be Scott’s 13th trip abroad since he became governor in January 2011.

Scott has defended the trips as a way to open doors for Florida-based companies seeking business abroad.

He has taken previous economic development trips to the South American countries of Brazil, Colombia and Chile, as well as Japan, Israel, England, France, Spain, Canada and Panama.

Florida man convicted in fatal fight over gumbo spices

A man charged with fatally stabbing a Florida restaurant worker and former Florida State mascot in a fight over gumbo spices has been found guilty of second-degree murder.

Caleb Joshua Halley was found guilty Thursday in the 2015 death. He faces up to life in prison for the crime.

Panama City police say 33-year-old Halley was working at Buddy’s Seafood Market when he and a co-worker, 26-year-old Orlando Thompson, began arguing about how much spice to add to the restaurant’s gumbo. Authorities say Thompson slashed Halley across the torso. He died two days later. The two had also been roommates at one point.

According to the police, Halley portrayed Florida State mascot “Chief Osceola” from 2004 to 2007.

The News Herald reports family members of both men wept when the verdict was read.

Ethics Commission clears Pam Bondi over Donald Trump contribution

Florida’s ethics commission is throwing out complaints filed against Attorney General Pam Bondi over her decision to ask Donald Trump for a contribution to help her re-election campaign.

The Florida Commission on Ethics on Friday voted to reject several complaints filed against Bondi by a Massachusetts trial attorney.

One of the complaints questioned Bondi receiving a contribution around the same time her office was being asked about a New York investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University.

Bondi asked for money from Trump in 2013 and got a $25,000 check for her political organization on Sept. 23 of that year. Emails from the same time period show that her office was being asked about the New York allegation.

Bondi has said repeatedly that she did nothing wrong.

Lawyer: Frank Artiles racial slurs offensive, but they’re also free speech

A lawyer representing a state senator who could be punished for using a racial slur and other vulgarities says he’ll present evidence that other senators have used similar language.

The Senate is reviewing a complaint that Republican Sen. Frank Artiles used the “n-word” and other obscenities in a conversation with two African-American senators at a private club near the Capitol.

Lawyer Steven Andrews wrote to the Senate lawyer reviewing the case and said the complaint shouldn’t be pursued because Artiles’ statements — as offensive as they were — are protected under his constitutional rights to free speech.

He also said the Senate lawyer, Dawn Roberts, shouldn’t handle the case because she’s also represented Artiles and witnesses who would be called to testify.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Document: Tampa man accused of plot to kill federal judge

Federal authorities say a jail inmate who supports the Islamic State group is accused of plotting to kill an 80-year-old federal judge in Florida.

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted 39-year-old Jason Jerome Springer on a charge of threatening to assault or kill U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Springer was awaiting trial on a gun violation when he told other inmates he wanted to kill Kovachevich, and would do so if released.

Court documents say Springer mentioned flying an “explosive-packed drone” into her office and tried to learn her home address.

An inquiry began in February when an inmate reported Springer had prayed for Kovachevich’s death.

Prosecutors say social media postings indicate he’s sympathetic to the terrorist group.

An attorney for Springer isn’t listed.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Once critical of global deals, Donald Trump slow to pull out of any

The “America First” president who vowed to extricate America from onerous overseas commitments appears to be warming up to the view that when it comes to global agreements, a deal’s a deal.

From NAFTA to the Iran nuclear agreement to the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump‘s campaign rhetoric is colliding with the reality of governing. Despite repeated pledges to rip up, renegotiate or otherwise alter them, the U.S. has yet to withdraw from any of these economic, environmental or national security deals, as Trump’s past criticism turns to tacit embrace of several key elements of U.S. foreign policy.

The administration says it is reviewing these accords and could still pull out of them. A day after certifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attacked the accord and listed examples of Iran’s bad behavior. His tone suggested that even if Iran is fulfilling the letter of its nuclear commitments, the deal remains on unsure footing.

Yet with one exception — an Asia-Pacific trade deal that already had stalled in Congress — Trump’s administration quietly has laid the groundwork to honor the international architecture of deals it has inherited. It’s a sharp shift from the days when Trump was declaring the end of a global-minded America that negotiates away its interests and subsidizes foreigners’ security and prosperity.

Trump had called the Iran deal the “worst” ever, and claimed climate change was a hoax. But in place of action, the Trump administration is only reviewing these agreements, as it is doing with much of American foreign policy.

Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University, said Trump may be allowing himself to argue in the future that existing deals can be improved without being totally discarded. “That allows him to tell his base that he’s getting a better deal than Bush or Obama got, and yet reassure these institutions that it’s really all being done with a nod and a wink, that Trump doesn’t mean what he says,” Brinkley said.

So far, there’s been no major revolt from Trump supporters, despite their expectation he would be an agent of disruption. This week’s reaffirmations of the status quo came via Tillerson’s certification of Iran upholding its nuclear deal obligations and the administration delaying a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

The president had previously spoken about dismantling or withdrawing from both agreements as part of his vision, explained in his inaugural address, that “every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

The Iran certification, made 90 minutes before a midnight Tuesday deadline, means Tehran will continue to enjoy relief from U.S. nuclear sanctions. Among the anti-deal crowd Trump wooed in his presidential bid, the administration’s decision is fueling concerns that Trump may let the 2015 accord stand.

Tillerson on Wednesday sought to head off any criticism that the administration was being easy on Iran, describing a broad administration review of Iran policy that includes the nuclear deal and examines if sanctions relief serves U.S. interests. The seven-nation nuclear deal, he said, “fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran” and “only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state.”

On the climate agreement, the White House postponed a meeting Tuesday where top aides were to have hashed out differences on what to do about the non-binding international deal forged in Paris in December 2015. The agreement allowed rich and poor countries to set their own goals to reduce carbon dioxide and went into effect last November, after the U.S., China and other countries ratified it. Not all of Trump’s advisers share his skeptical views on climate change — or the Paris pact.

Trump’s position on trade deals also has evolved. He had promised to jettison the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada unless he could substantially renegotiate it in America’s favor, blaming NAFTA for devastating the U.S. manufacturing industry by incentivizing the use of cheap labor in Mexico.

Now his administration is only focused on marginal changes that would preserve much of the existing agreement, according to draft guidelines that Trump’s trade envoy sent to Congress. The proposal included a controversial provision that lets companies challenge national trade laws through private tribunals.

Trump has followed through with a pledge to pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping free trade deal President Barack Obama negotiated. The agreement was effectively dead before Trump took office after Congress refused to ratify it. Even Trump’s Democratic opponent in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, opposed the accord.

But on NATO, Trump has completely backed off his assertions that the treaty organization is “obsolete.” His Cabinet members have fanned out to foreign capitals to show America’s support for the alliance and his administration now describes the 28-nation body as a pillar of Western security.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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