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Local Sports

  • Tough night at the Trop

    ST. PETERSBURG — Madison Bumgarner struck out 11 in seven innings, Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer and the San Francisco Giants beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on Friday night.

    This was the first time since 2004 that the teams met. The last-place Giants won their third in a row overall.

    Tampa Bay has lost two in a row, including its first game in August. The Rays went 21-5 in July.

  • Woods’ 61 makes big charge at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods had a shot at making history with a magical 59.

    He swore he wasn’t disappointed to come up short.

    “Disappointed? Absolutely not,” he said.

    Then he cracked, “A 61’s pretty good. I’m not bummed.”

  • ’Bama tops preseason football poll

    Alabama is No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches’ poll.

    The Crimson Tide was an overwhelming choice, receiving 58 of 62 first-place votes. Ohio State was second and received three first-place votes. Oregon is No. 3, Stanford is 4, Georgia is five and No. 6 Texas A&M received the other first-place vote.

    Half the top 10 is from the Southeastern Conference, which has won the last seven national championships, including three in the last four years by Alabama.

  • Total package

    TAMPA — After spending much of his career establishing himself as one of the NFL’s top deep threats, Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson is proving there’s a lot more to his game.

    The ninth-year pro is entering his second season with the Buccaneers, who are taking advantage of his size, strength and speed to give opposing defenses fits all over the field.

  • UF to open practice without five starters

    GAINESVILLE — Florida is missing all the optimism that usually comes with the start of fall practice.

    The Gators will open workouts Friday without four offensive starters — including quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Matt Jones — and have no timetable for reinstating suspended linebacker Antonio Morrison.

    Guards Jon Halapio (pectoral) and Max Garcia (back) won’t be on the field, either.

  • Listless Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG — Wade Miley pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Eric Chavez drove in three runs Wednesday night, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Paul Goldschmidt hit his 24th homer, scored three runs and reached base four times. Cody Ross had three straight hits and drove in two runs as Arizona broke a three-game losing streak.

  • Caution a must

    From time to time, I receive emails asking questions about outdoor-related items. Since Fishtales is primarily a fishing column most of these questions involve that topic.

    Recently, a handful of the emails I’ve received involve Lake Rousseau and the Withlacoochee River. This week, Fishtales will cover an overview of the river and lake and — in two weeks — we will discuss some boating and fishing options for the areas.

  • Hope for answer

    TAMPA — Josh Freeman said he’s focused on trying to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs, not the big contract he probably will command if he’s able to accomplish that mission.

    The Bucs have not earned a postseason berth since 2007. Freeman’s coming off the most productive season of his career, but remains under pressure to prove he’s worth the kind of money it could take to keep the 25-year-old in a Bucs uniform for the long term.

  • Citrus’ Tobin, Smith sign on with Warner

    C.J. Risak

    Correspondent

    INVERNESS — During their football careers at Citrus High School, Kyle Tobin and Steve Smith were instrumental in building a 2-8 team that no college coach was interested in seeing play into a 7-4 squad that challenged for district supremacy.

    Now college recruiters are interested, proven by the number of Hurricanes who are being swept up to play at the next level.

  • CR senior baseball team falls just short of state title

    The Crystal River Senior All-Star baseball team fell a game short of a Little League state championship with a 3-0 loss to Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale.

    “The pitching was great,” Crystal River manager Dennis McClure said. “We just didn’t get the bats going.”

    For Crystal River, which gave up no earned runs, Cory Weiand led the way with eight strikeouts and one hit in 4 1/3 innings.