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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Mookie Betts hit his major league-leading 16th homer, Chris Sale struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2. Willy Adames made his big league debut and hit a solo home run off Sale in his second at-bat. The 22-year-old shortstop went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts. Sale has allowed three runs or fewer in his first 11 starts, the longest stretch by a Boston pitcher to open a season since Pedro Martinez's 12 in 2001.

NEW YORK (AP) Caleb Smith pitched neatly into the seventh inning against a Mets lineup that included newcomer Jose Bautista, leading the Miami Marlins over New York 5-1. Derek Dietrich homered and J.T. Realmuto got three hits as Miami, the lowest-scoring team in the majors, ended a three-game skid. The Mets had won four in a row.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jake Faria and catcher Wilson Ramos left with injuries in the third inning of Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox. Faria gave up a tiebreaking three-run homer to Mookie Betts, struck out Andrew Benintendi and came out due to a strained left oblique. Ramos bruised the back of his left hand two batters later when hit by an 0-2 pitch from Austin Pruitt to Xander Bogaerts that bounced in the dirt. Ramos was replaced by Jesus Sucre.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Alex Ovechkin is closer than ever to playing for the Stanley Cup, and he's determined to make the most of the opportunity. The star forward leads the Washington Capitals into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The winner earns a berth in the Stanley Cup Final opposite the Vegas Golden Knights.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had quite the start to his offseason. He had wrist surgery. He signed a $54 million contract. And he nearly got robbed. Bortles' next phase probably won't create as much buzz. But it's much more important to the team's success in 2018. Bortles began organized team activities behind a revamped offensive line and with three new passing targets. It's part of a plan to improve an offense that featured the league's top rushing attack last season.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) South Florida and Florida have agreed to play three times during a four-year stretch, including twice in Gainesville. The Bulls and Gators will play at Florida Field in 2022 and 2025, and at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in 2023. The teams have played once before. Florida won 38-14 early in the 2010 season.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Michael Burns hit a go-ahead RBI single in Miami's five-run eighth inning, helping the Hurricanes beat Notre Dame 6-2 in pool play at the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament. Danny Reyes had a tying RBI double for the seventh-seeded Hurricanes (28-25), who had trailed 2-1 since the third inning before their game-turning push. Raymond Gil sent a two-out RBI single through the left side and Freddy Zamora had a bases-loaded, two-run single, pushing Miami to a 6-2 lead.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Reese Albert hit an RBI double in the 11th inning to help Florida State beat Virginia 3-2 in pool play at the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament. Albert's game-ending hit against Andrew Abbott scored Drew Mendoza for the sixth-seeded Seminoles. The 10th-seeded Cavaliers finished with six hits.

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