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Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Tigers game

RHP Erasmo Ramirez seems, with a $3.215 million salary, to be an expensive spare part, but he shows his worth when he can step in like he did Thursday with five strong innings. He still might have more value as a starter to another team in a trade.

CF Kevin Kiermaier will never admit feeling any pressure to start fast after signing a $53.5 million extension. But after just one extra-base hit in his first 14 games and 0-for-13 and 1-for-20 stretches, he looks locked in 10-for-his-last-20, and his first homer Thursday.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has a Dartmouth degree, but blaming his team's pathetic outfield play on things like fans yelling "I got it" in a mostly empty Trop is not a smart play. Doing extra work with the outfielders, or starting ex-Ray Mikie Mahtook, would have been a smarter move.

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Tigers game 04/20/17 [Last modified: Thursday, April 20, 2017 8:23pm]
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  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.