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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 swept by New York Yankees; fall back to .500 for season

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Suddenly, they look like the Rays you remember from last season. The Tampa Bay Rays lost their third straight game Thursday night, getting swept by the New York Yankees and falling back to .500 on the season and dropping to fourth in the AL East. This time, the Rays lost 3-2, striking out 15 times against the Yankees. Starting pitcher Luis Severino struck out 11. Aaron Hicks hit two home runs and drove in all three runs for the Yankees.…

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Rowdies’ Georgi Hristov gets hat trick in big win over Strikers

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Geogi, Georgi, Georgi. Say it three times, one for each goal scored by the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ forward on Saturday night against the rival Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The Rowdies won 4-1, moving into seventh place in the NASL. They still have a shot at the playoffs. Georgi Hristov scored the first hat trick in the history of the Rowdies in the win. It was a bit more bad news for Fort Lauderdale, whose future is in financial doubt. Hristov scored…

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Brad Miller hits his 25th homer as Rays sweep Padres

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Brad Miller seems intent on making Tropicana Field his home. Miller launched yet another home run, his 25th of the season, Wednesday afternoon and the Rays got shutout pitching from Chris Archer to win 2-0. It was the Rays’ fourth sweep of the season. Miller has three home runs in his last seven at-bats. Of his 25 homers, 19 have come at Tropicana Field. He has almost equaled his career total of 29 coming into the season. “I think I…

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Rays continue to strand runners in sweep by San Francisco

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The Tampa Bay Rays had no problems getting men on baseball against the San Francisco Giants. The sad part was that the Rays left them there. The Rays stranded 11 runners in scoring position on Sunday as they were swept, 5-1, by the Giants. Over the series, the Rays were 0-for-20, and in their last five games, they are four-for-49. “That was a series of us just not getting it done whatsoever,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “The big hit…

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Rays complete sweep of the Blue Jays to even their record at 19-19

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They only scored six runs. They only had 10 hits. Alas, the poor Tampa Bay Rays. Their recent surge of offense is easing up. The Rays (19-19) had a normal big night Wednesday night, sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-3 victory. Still, Tampa Bay completed one of its most lopsided series, scoring 31 runs and getting 44 hits in the three games. It was the second time in team history (the other was in August of 2007) that…

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Rangers sweep Rays as Drew Smyly struggles in his return

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The Tampa Bay Rays are in a quandry with their starting rotation. Do they slow down to allow their starters to catch up, or do they press toward the playoffs? Increasingly, that seems to be the choice for the Rays, who grew weary of waiting for Matt Moore earlier and now might face a similar decision with Drew Smyly, who doesn’t appear to be what they were when they were injured. Smyly started Sunday for the first time in 102…

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