#1 to do my job. This is my coming-out party too. I had von mary123 10.10.2019 09:28

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The American League East standings still show the Toronto Blue Jays in first place and the Tampa Bay Rays in last, but the Rays have found a way to solve their division rivals again this season, as seen in Saturdays 7-5 win at Tropicana Field.The Rays enter Sundays series finale hoping for their second three-game sweep of the Jays this season -- theyre 9-6 against Toronto and with one more win, can clinch the season series for the eighth time in nine years.Tampa Bay has outhomered the Jays 24-20 in their meetings this season, outscoring them by an 80-60 margin, a confounding problem for Toronto manager John Gibbons.Were not getting a lot of hits, thats for sure, he said after his team was held to three singles entering the ninth inning Saturday. We didnt have too many last night and we didnt get too many tonight. Youre not going to score many runs if youre not getting hits.Absent that, the Jays will try to win with lefty J.A. Happ, whos been dominant this season with a 17-4 record and a 3.23 ERA.The Jays lost their first three Happ starts against the Rays, including a May 16 outing in which he lasted only two innings and gave up eight earned runs. He bounced back nicely on Aug. 10, throwing six shutout innings of four-hit ball in a 7-0 Jays win in Toronto. For his career, Happ is 3-3 with a 4.87 ERA against the Rays.Rays starter Chris Archer has fared well against the Jays in his career, with a 6-4 record and 3.25 ERA in 18 starts, including a 1-1 record and 3.18 ERA this season. Hes given up two earned runs or less in his last four outings against Toronto, going back to last season.The Rays recent spark has come from their bats, which came alive again in a five-run sixth inning where they struck for six hits Saturday night.We had one big inning that we put it together, Rays manager Kevin Cash said. We have not had much success against Marco Estrada ... theyre so dangerous and they wear down pitchers.Tampa Bay got its biggest and smallest hits of the night from Kevin Kiermaier, who loaded the bases in the sixth with a well-placed bunt and enough speed to pressure Estrada to throw wide. He would score in that inning, and up 5-1 in the seventh, came through with a two-run home run that would eventually provide the winning margin.Up six runs in the ninth, the Rays had another wobbly night from their bullpen -- Enny Romero faced six batters and four of them scored, with three walks that forced the Rays to use closer Alex Colome in a save situation, the game ending with the tying run on base.Ideally youre not going into that inning thinking you have to get your closer up, Cash said. Enny just had a rough patch. They got the hits they needed, found a couple holes.For Toronto to avoid a sweep Sunday, theyll need to find those hits much earlier than the ninth inning. INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Bernard Hopkins legendary, 28-year career came to a thudding conclusion Saturday night, when Joe Smith Jr. punched him out of the ring and onto The Forum floor in the eighth round in a wild scene.Hopkins, a month shy of his 52nd birthday and participating in the 67th and final fight of a career that began when Ronald Reagan was president and the year before Smith was born, landed on his head but complained of an ankle injury and was unable to continue.Referee Jack Reiss administered a 20-count, as is the boxing rule when a fighter is ejected from the ring. When Hopkins could not get back into the ring in time, Reiss waved off the light heavyweight fight at 53 seconds, to the disappointment of most of the 6,513 who turned out to see whether Hopkins could go out with a win in his first fight in 25 months. On Nov. 8, 2014, the date of Hopkins prior fight, he lost two light heavyweight world titles to Sergey Kovalev in a one-sided decision in a unification fight.While the result was a career-making victory for Smith, Hopkins handpicked opponent for his career finale, it was an ignominious ending for one of the greatest fighters in boxing history. Hopkins was the undisputed middleweight champion. He made a division-record 20 title defenses, was a three-time light heavyweight titleholder and set several age-related records, including becoming the oldest fighter to win a world title, first at age 46 and then again at 48.Those are stats that will be remembered when Hopkins (55-8-2, 2 no contests, 32 KOs) goes into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but the wild ending of this fight wont soon be forgotten.In the eighth round, Smith caught Hopkins along the ropes with a six-punch combination, including a finishing left hand that caught Hopkins as he was bending over. Hopkins fell between the ropes and crashed to the arena floor.I was throwing the right hand and a combination and then using the rope as Im known for and making a mess, Hopkins said. He got frustrated, and I might have gotten glazed with a left hook and next thing I know he was throwing me out of the ring.I injured myself and hit my head first and hurt my ankle. I knew of the 20 seconds but couldnt stand up on my feet because my ankle was injured. I said I could walk but I couldnt box. I had a choice to make, but I guess the referee made it for me. I know if I hadnt made a mess and gotten knocked out of the ring, I wouldve come back like Im known for and wouldve had my chin.The ending was somewhat reminiscent of a middleweight title defense Hopkins made against Robert Allen in Las Vegas in 1998, when he was accidentally pushed out of the ring in the fourth round by referee Mills Lane as he tried to break the fighters. Hopkins suffered an ankle injury, and the fight was declared a no contest.I knew he was a true champion, and if he didnt get injured, hed be back here, Smith said.There were several minutes of uncertainty in the eighth as nobody seemed to know whether the fight was over, even though Reiss had counted to 20 in the ring.The fighter got hit with a legal punch and went out of the ring and injured himself on the way out, Reiss said. He wasnt going to continue. I counted to 20, and he couldnt continue, so the fight is over.At the time of the stoppage, Smith was ahead 69-64 and 67-66 on two scorecards and Hopkins was up 67-66 on the third card. ESPN had Smith ahead 67-66.This was the round I was going to make something happen, Hopkins said of the eighth round.When the fight was made, Hopkins announced it would be his last one -- win, lose or draw -- and he stuck to that aftter the fight.ddddddddddddThe reason I said Im upset they are giving Smith the TKO is because the momentum threw me through?the ropes, Hopkins said. I didnt dive through the ropes. This is my last fight, I promised it would be, and you come to that point in life where it is final and Im happy with my retirement. I know the fans will know I went out as a soldier, fighting the toughest, baddest opponents. Im not saying I agree, Im not in denial. Joe was a tough, heavy-hitting fighter.Hopkins came back because he wanted to finish his career on his own terms, and while the fight might not have ended how he wanted, he put in a good effort before the wacky ending.Smith got off to a solid start, outlanding Hopkins 14-4 in the first round and maybe surprising Hopkins with his power as he backed him up.In the early going, Hopkins seemed to be trying to shake off the long layoff. His timing looked off, and his legs were a bit shaky as Smith went after him and landed a left to the body that stood up Hopkins in the second round. But Hopkins responded with a right hand and opened a cut over Smiths left eye on a head-butt that did not look accidental.Hopkins has guile and experience, but he cant go three hard minutes per round anymore. However, he fought in spurts and landed some powerful right hands, especially in the fifth round, in which they both connected.Smith, who earned $140,000 to Hopkins $800,000, continually marched forward firing punches, while Hopkins would throw a right hand and then lunge to tie him up. But in the eighth round, Smith caught Hopkins along the ropes and fired the fight-ending combination.While Hopkins was disappointed with the way the fight ended, Smith (23-1, 19 KOs), a 27-year-old union laborer from Mastic, New York, was happy to get the biggest win of his career and a second upset in a row. He had gained Hopkins attention with his upset, first-round knockout of contender Andrzej Fonfara in June and, months later, earned Hopkins pick for his final fight.It feels great. Its the best feeling in the world to accomplish something I set out for and wanted to do, Smith said. I had seen him every time I threw the right hand. He was throwing the left. I had seen him fall, and I kept hitting him until I saw him go out [of the ring], and I landed that left hook until he went out.I hit him with four or five clean shots, and they were good shots on the button. I came here to do my job. This is my coming-out party too. I had to finish him. It was either my career was going to end and his was going to end, but I needed mine to continue. Im going to get back in the gym and train hard for my next opponent. Im up for anything.As he prepares for retirement, Hopkins says he will promote in his role as a partner in Golden Boy Promotions and enjoy the fruits of his labor, his family and the millions he has earned.He can also look back on a career in which he pulled memorable upsets against Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik and Jean Pascal -- not to mention knocking out Oscar De La Hoya and becoming the first fighter in any division in the four-belt era to hold all of them at the same time.Things unfortunately happen, Hopkins said. I dont want the fight to end the way it did. Id rather get beat or a win where its clear to everybody. But Ill say it one last time. Im really serious about this: Win, lose or draw -- trust me, if it had been the other way around -- win, lose or draw, or controversy, thats it.I have no regrets. ' ' '

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