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It’s December. Do you know where your Bucs are? (Hint: First place)

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It’s December, and the Tampa Bay Bucs matter. And when is the last time that happened? Do you count 2010, when the Bucs finished 10-6 but missed the playoffs? How about 2008, when they entered the last four games at 9-3 and lost four straight? How about 2007 when they made the playoffs (and were beaten in the first game). Or 2005, when they reached the playoffs (and lost in the first game). Or 2003, after the 2002 season, when…

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Rays fall once again despite a stellar pitching performance by Matt Moore

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The Tampa Bay Rays gave up only two runs Saturday. They surrendered only seven hits. They shut out the Baltimore Orioles after the second inning. But, yeah, the Rays lost again. Of course they did. The Rays dropped a 2-1 decision to the Baltimore Orioles, the 19th straight game the Rays have lost to a first-place team. Overall, Tampa Bay has lost 24 of its last 27 games. They have also lost eight straight and 12 of their last 13.…

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Lightning gets two goals from Tyler Johnson to win eighth straight

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For most of the season, he has been missing from the ice. Just when you thought it might happen again after suffering a gash to the forehead Sunday night, however, Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson stood tall. Johnson, who has played in only 26 games this season, had the first two-goal game of the season Monday night in a 2-1 victory over Toronto. Johnson, who had a terrific season a year ago, had scored only nine goals coming into the game. It…

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Souza sizzles as Rays reclaim share of 1st place

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The Tampa Bay Rays pulled back into a tie for first place in the AL East. OK, OK. So the Rays only have a 26-25 record, and it has taken two straight wins (and a 3-0 victory by Oakland over the New York Yankees). But in a weak division, that’s good enough for a two-game lead over Baltimore, a 3 ½-game lead over Toronto and a four-game lead over Boston. The Rays were powered by rookie Steven Souza Jr., who…

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Rays lose their fourth straight, AL East lead

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As bad as the AL East may be, someone else is ruling it these days. The Tampa Bay Rays lost command of the division Tuesday night as they dropped their fourth consecutive game. This one was a 7-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners in 10 innings. Leading Seattle was Kyle Seager, who hit two home runs and drove in six. He had a grand slam in the eighth against Jake McGee, last year’s best reliever for the Rays. He homered…

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Rays still in first, but losing streak continues

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The season goes along, and the Tampa Bay Rays keep losing parts. If this keeps up, there is no indication if they will be able to finish the season at all. Another day, another ache. Another game, another loss to another bad team. After a while, it seems less like a celebration that the Rays are in first place in the American League East and more like an indictment of the division itself. The Rays, still somehow in first place…

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Rays continue to ache, lose James Loney to DL

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And now, a word about your still-in-first-place Tampa Bay Rays: Ouch. In a season right out of M*A*S*H, the Rays were aching a little more Monday than they were 24 hours earlier. Three players joined the hobbled masses, most notably middle-of-the-order hitter James Loney, who went on the disabled list with a left middle finger fracture. He expects to be out for 4-6 weeks. Also with day-to-day injuries are outfielder Steven Souza Jr. (left wrist sprain) and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera…

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