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April 26, 2001
[Times photo: Michael Rondou]
Felix Martinez tries -- unsuccessfully -- to sacrifice bunt in the second inning. The Rays scored four runs in the inning anyway.
Hubert Mizell
Rays can find hope in April of Twins
They play baseball in a drab and belittled dome, operating with a payroll miniscule in comparison with the riches of Yankees, Indians, Red Sox, Rangers and most every other American League rival.

Devil Rays
Solutions for Rays not easy
Naimoli has made missteps, but the stadium, team quality appear to be among larger trouble spots.

Good things happen for Rays
Solid team effort, a little luck lead to second straight win, 5-3 over K.C.

Bullpen makes pair of substitutions
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays clubhouse swirled with activity Wednesday.

Game is never over for Devils' Stevens
At workouts, finishing checks, captain's ethic leads.

Jazz holds for 2-0 lead
SALT LAKE CITY -- John Stockton and Karl Malone have been in the playoffs so often, they can instantly find a comfort zone when pressure mounts.

NBA briefs
Hardaway is out for series with Charlotte

Baseball briefs
Ankiel's start still in doubt

NHL briefs
Lemieux tries to spur Jagr

NFL briefs
Ahanotu: No Lions deal yet

Sports briefs
Agassi loses to qualifier

Hornish has big start to build on
When Sam Hornish reflects upon what he's already accomplished in the Indy Racing League this season, the 21-year-old driver can hardly believe it himself.

WIBC Queens to kick off PWBA season in May
The WIBC Queens, a tournament within a tournament, opens the PWBA season May 7-11 at Sawgrass Lanes in Fort Lauderdale.

Saddlebrook captures first state championship
WESLEY CHAPEL -- For the previous five years, Kelly McCain spent late April playing in the Easter Bowl, a highly competitive USTA tournament in Palm Springs, Calif.

Jesuit, TC survive upset bids
CLEARWATER -- One of the area's top rivalries -- Jesuit vs. Tampa Catholic -- will get a little more interesting in tonight's Class 3A, District 9 final.

Armwood self-destructs in loss to Jefferson
The Dragons take advantage of six errors to defeat the Hawks 5-3 and earn a spot in the final opposite Leto.

Countryside girls state title dreams are still real
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS -- Countryside's quest for its first girls state championship is still alive after a solid opening round at the Class 3A championships at Sanlando Park. The Cougars' top three of Jennifer Dent, Evangelina Soriano and Anatasiya Sokolova reached today's singles finals and helped Countryside earn eight points, two behind leader Fort Lauderdale Aquinas.

Countryside to battle Seminole
SEMINOLE -- Three runs in the top of the first weren't enough for Pinellas Park as Countryside fought back to win 6-3 behind the pitching of Mike White, earning a rematch Friday night with Seminole, who defeated St. Petersburg 3-2 in the other semifinal.

Northeast, Gibbs to meet in final
ST. PETERSBURG -- South county rivals have yet to solve Northeast and Crystal Folwell. But Gibbs could not be happier to have another shot.

Central edges Lecanto in 11 for regional berth
BROOKSVILLE -- Central needed 11 innings -- 10 of them pitched by ace Patrick Ryan -- and heroic plays in the top and bottom of the final inning by junior Jamie McElfresh to advance to the regional playoffs for the fifth time in six years 3-2 over Lecanto on Wednesday.

Captain's corner
The kingfish are starting to spread along the gulf coast. Water temperatures are in the low 70s in most parts and kings have a large area of comfortable water to roam. There are reports of smokers as far south as Boca Grande, north of Tarpon Springs and way out in the middle grounds. This scenario can make finding fish difficult. Be prepared to fish more than one area. Make sure you have the bait and equipment to work the different depths.

Couples still has time for a turnaround
Age is hardly the barrier it once was in golf. Mark O'Meara won two major championships the year after his 40th birthday, and we'd think nothing of it if Nick Price won a tournament this year. Hal Sutton, who turns 43 this weekend, is coming off a victory at the Houston Open.

Too good not to be true
No sooner had Tiger Woods won his first tournament of the year at the Bay Hill Invitational last month than the Nike publicity machine was at work.

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