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Local Sports

  • Rays rally, fall in 10 on walk

    CHICAGO — Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said if he had to do it over he'd still walk Melky Cabrera to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning.

    Reliever Brad Boxberger wouldn't.

    Avisail Garcia hit a three-run homer in Chicago's five-run first and had a bases-loaded walk in the 10th to give the White Sox a 6-5 victory over the Rays on Wednesday.

  • UF enters camp trying to find starting QB

    GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Jim McElwain, hired to fix the team’s five-year stretch of lackluster offense, heads into training camp without a starting quarterback.

    At least he has options. But it’s unclear whether any of them can be the kind of difference-maker the Gators have lacked since former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow left campus in 2010.

    This much is certain: McElwain knows what he’s looking for from sophomore Treon Harris or redshirt freshman Will Grier.

  • Turning the Power 5 into the Power 6

    NEWPORT, R.I. — The American Athletic Conference is not one of the nation’s power conferences.

    Its commissioner wants to change that.

    Mike Aresco said Tuesday his league will not accept the status quo in which the Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 are perceived to be on a different level from the AAC.

  • New targets to shine in Bucs offense

    TAMPA — With Jameis Winston throwing the football and Dirk Koetter calling plays, a healthy Austin Seferian-Jenkins figures to get more opportunities to flourish in Tampa Bay’s offense.

    Same goes for Luke Stocker, Brandon Myers, Tim Wright and maybe even Cameron Brate, too.

  • Mahtook single in 9th lifts Rays to 5-4 win over White Sox

    CHICAGO — Mikie Mahtook singled with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to drive in Logan Forsythe and give the Tampa Bay Rays a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

    Forsythe, who drove in two runs, started the winning rally with a one-out walk.

    Evan Longoria had three hits and an RBI. Rays top prospect Richie Shaffer went 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch and a walk in four plate appearances before leaving the game in the seventh.

  • Sparing no expense

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban and his staff always devote some offseason time to studying new offensive and defensive coordinators, just perhaps not quite this much.

    There are 14 new coordinators — seven on each side of the ball — in the Southeastern Conference. That includes Vanderbilt coach/defensive coordinator Derek Mason, and the number creates extra homework for staffs around the league leading up to the season.

  • McCoy ready to lead Bucs out of NFC South cellar

    TAMPA — Gerald McCoy is entering his sixth NFL season and has yet to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs.

    That doesn’t sit well with the three-time Pro Bowl selection, who is determined to help the team end a postseason drought and become relevant again.

  • Cabrera’s double helps Rays avoid sweep

    BOSTON — James Loney knows it always feels better having a lucky hit at the right time.

    Asdrubal Cabrera had a game-tying RBI double and then scored on Loney’s bloop single in the eighth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a three-game sweep with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

  • Gordon to wave goodbye to winless races in final season

    LONG POND, Pa.  — Jeff Gordon’s request for a low-key farewell tour has mostly been respected, though the four-time NASCAR champion has been feted with a parade, bourbon, an 18-liter bottle of wine, even a track named in his honor.

    In the final season of his trailblazing career, there was another tribute this weekend for the retiring great: Pocono Raceway painted “GORDON” in white at the start/finish line in honor of the winningest driver in track history.

  • Changes coming to NFL

    NEW YORK — Bob Dylan sang about them. So did David Bowie.

    For 2015, the NFL is embracing the message from those musical giants. Yes, the most successful of American sports leagues is into changes.

    Extra-point attempts have been altered. Medical timeouts are the latest player safety measure. A female on-field official has a full-time job.

    For all that’s new in the NFL, read on.