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Bucs have prime-time games against Patriots, Falcons in 2017

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They are coming up on their 10th year without a playoff game. Still, the Tampa Bay Bucs have to feel as if they’ll be playing with the big boys in 2017. The Bucs play a prime-time Thursday night game this year against the world-champion New England Patriots (Oct. 5), then later play a Monday night game against the Atlanta Falcons (Dec. 18). The Bucs also play two games against the Carolina Panthers, the Super Bowl runners-up of two seasons ago.…

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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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Rowdies get a point with 1-1 draw against Cincinnati on the road

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It’s a hard sport in which to score. Still, one goal will win only so often in the United Soccer League. For the fourth time in five games, the Rowdies scored only one goal Wednesday night, and the team had to settle for a 1-1 draw with the home standing FC Cincinnati FC. This time, Marcel Schaffer scored in the seventh minute for the Rowdies. Harrison Delbridge evened the game on a header in the 36th minute. “We started off…

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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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Rays lose their sixth of the last seven games after big error

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The Tampa Bay Rays can’t wait to get home. The Rays limped through the final game of their homestand, losing six of the seven games to ruin a good start. The Rays lost to the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Saturday with a familiar pattern: A good start, loose defense, a lost chance at a comeback and too many strikeouts. Tampa Bay started out the season 5-2, but in six of the seven games since, the Rays have had at least…

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Rays lose pitcher Jake Odorizzi to hamstring injury in loss to Red Sox

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The Tampa Bay Rays managed to scrape together a pretty good pitching game Saturday. The hitting? Not so much. The Rays dropped a 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, falling back to even on the season. The Rays were forced to piece together the efforts of five pitchers after starter Jake Odorizzi left in the second inning with a tight hamstring. Boston’s Chris Sale, meanwhile, was dominant. He struck out 12 in seven innings and allowed only three hits…

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