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Family of Rays prospect killed in triple homicide


The wife, child and mother-in-law of a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization were killed in a small Virginia town Tuesday, with police arresting the brother-in-law of right-hander Blake Bivens and charging him with three counts of first-degree homicide, sources told ESPN.

Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, of Keeling, Virginia, was arrested after a manhunt that dispatched dozens of police officers around the community near the Virginia-North Carolina border.

Police said they did not know the motive for the killings, Bernard, who was naked at the time of his arrest, had led authorities on a short on-foot chase. Police have not named the victims.

In a statement, the Rays said: "Earlier today we learned that Blake Bivens, a pitcher with our Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, suffered a terrible family tragedy in southern Virginia. Our hearts are broken for Blake."

The Biscuits had canceled a doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, due to what the team called a "tragic event."

CEO Lou DiBella later tweeted out a statement.

Bivens, 24, was chosen by Tampa Bay in the fourth round of the 2014 draft out of high school in Danville, Virginia. After spending most of his career as a starting pitcher, he transitioned to a relief role this year and was 4-0 with a 3.95 ERA.

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