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Erasmo Ramirez gives the Tampa Bay Rays a reason to keep smiling

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Most of the time, Erasmo Ramirez is smiling. Sometimes, he makes other people smile, too. Ramirez was terrific in his first start of the year Thursday, taming the Detroit Tigers in an 8-1 victory that completed a series sweep, their first since San Diego in mid-August of last season. Ramirez allowed only two hits – and one earned run – in the five innings he pitched. Chase Whitley went the three innings afterward and allowed only one hit, and Tommy…

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Rays capture strange victory over Tigers on misplayed grounder

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Sometimes, baseball makes no sense. None at all. Sometimes, it is a bizarre, unexplainable game filled with strange bounces. Take the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8-7 victory over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday. It was a confusing mess of a game in which everything you thought you knew was no longer true. For instance, the Tigers launched a comeback when gold glover Kevin Kiermaier missed a fly ball, leading to a three-run triple. For instance, the Rays came back from that when…

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Rays return to the Trop, win solid outing against the Detroit Tigers

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Dome, sweet Dome. The Tampa Bay Rays enjoyed their return to Tropicana Field Tuesday night, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in a solid victory. The Rays had spent the previous seven games on the road, losing six of them, before the victory Tuesday. How good was it? It was so good that shortstop Tim Beckham, one of the team’s punching bags by the fans, had a two-run homer and a single and played solid shortstop for the Rays. Catcher Derek…

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Lightning’s victory over Detroit led by guys who don’t often score

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No one will ever call them the new Triplets. J.T. Brown? Really? He hadn’t scored a goal in 46 games. Andrej Sustr? Honestly? He had scored only one in 45 games. Yanni Gourde? Seriously? He had scored three goals … in his life. Thursday night, however, they all found the net in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. It was a timely effort, because the Bolts had to play without Nikita Kucherov, who has been…

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Nikita Kucherov’s overtime goal leads Lightning to another win

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The Tampa Bay Lightning continues to be contrarians. Following a three-game losing streak that looked as if it was going to finish the team, the Bolts responded with a two-game winning streak on the road that might end up saving them. The Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings Friday night, 2-1 in overtime, to pull within one point of the Bruins and Islanders for the final wild-card spot. The Bruins and Islanders play each other today. The Lightning now has…

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Lightning ends slump with convincing win over Detroit Red Wings

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For a night – at least, for a night – they were the Bolts again For a game – if only for a game – they skated like the wind and they played solid defense and they got great goaltending. For once – if it was only for once – the Tampa Bay Lightning had a terrific penalty kill, and a terrific power play. And they won, 4-1 against Detroit. The Lightning, of course, has to prove that their play…

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Injury to Steven Stamkos overshadows Lightning win over Detroit

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The Tampa Bay Lightning won again Tuesday night. It just didn’t feel like it. The Lightning lost captain Steven Stamkos to an apparent injury to his right leg, which put a dark cloud over the team’s 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Stamkos was hurt in the first period but did not return. There was no immediate report as to how long Stamkos might be out, but he left the ice in pain. Stamkos, who signed an eight-year, $68…

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