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David DeJesus shows the Rays he’s worth keeping

in Sports/The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

For an extra piece, David DeJesus is proving to be fairly appreciated.

DeJesus, who has heard whispers about being traded since spring training, led the Tampa Bay Rays to a victory Thursday night that gave them control of first place in the American League East.

DeJesus hit a home run and a run-scoring double in a 3-0 victory over the Oakland As Thursday night.

The way the Rays’ pitching has been going as of late, that was plenty.

Alex Colome threw five innings of four-hit shutout ball, and the Rays’ bullpen followed with four players throwing a shutout inning each. Brad Boxberger finished it up for his 12th save of the season without a hitch.

Boxberger, who had only two saves a year ago, is throwing like a man who is growing comfortable in the role. Jake McGee, who was injured as the season began, was the Rays’ closer last year. It will be interesting to see how the Rays handle the job.

Perhaps DeJesus still will not last the year. If the Rays are determined to field an outfield of Steven Souza Jr., Kevin Kiermaier and Desmond Jennings, he is sort of a player without a home. With a $6 million salary, that is a luxury. But with John Jaso still ailing, DeJesus has gotten off to a good start. He’s hitting .316, and he already has 16 RBI. (He had only 19 last  year in three times the at bats.)

The Rays play the A’s again tonight, with Chris Archer pitching against Scott Kazmir.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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