Major league pitcher dies

TAMPA, Fla. -- Major league pitcher Joe Kennedy died early Friday morning, a Hillsborough County sheriff's official said. He was 28.

Kennedy passed out at home and was brought to a hospital, Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. She had no further details.

Kennedy's agent, Damon Lapa, told ESPN.com that Kennedy died while at home with family in Florida. He did not return phone calls and an e-mail from the Associated Press.

"We were terribly shocked," Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey said. "From what we understand he was in Bradenton ... to be the best man at a wedding today."

Godfrey said he didn't have any particulars on the cause of death.

"When a 28-year-old man dies it's terrible," he said.

The left-hander was 43-61 in seven major league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays. Kennedy compiled a 43-61 record with a 4.79 ERA, pitching 908 2/3 innings over 222 career appearances.

Kennedy made his major league debut in June 2001 and made his last appearance in relief on Sept. 29 in a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay.

He started the 2007 season with Oakland, appearing in 27 games. Claimed off waivers by Arizona in August, he was released on Aug. 15 after just three appearances. The Blue Jays signed him Aug. 29, and Kennedy got his first win as a Blue Jay on Sept. 21 at the New York Yankees.

"The entire Oakland's A's organization sends our thoughts out to Joe's family," Oakland assistant general manager David Forst told ESPN.com. "He was a valued member of our organization for almost two years, and certainly a guy we loved having around."

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