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Sports in brief


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Cup rematch opens MLS

PORTLAND, Ore. — The defending champion Portland Timbers host the Columbus Crew today (4:30, ESPN) in a rematch of last year's MLS Cup final as Major League Soccer opens its 21st season.

Orlando City opens its second season at home against Real Salt Lake as all 20 teams get underway today.

Replays: Referees will be assisted by video replays for the first time on a trial basis, FIFA announced. Tests will start next year in private before a live pilot phase by the 2017-18 season.

Spain: Cristiano Ronaldo had four goals to become the No. 2 leading scorer in La Liga as host Real Madrid routed Celta Vigo 7-1. With 252 goals, Ronaldo passed Telmo Zarra's 251 and trails only Barcelona's Lionel Messi (305).


Browne TKOs champ Chagaev

Lucas Browne (24-0, 21 KOs) became Australia's first world heavyweight champion, beating Ruslan Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KOs) in a surprise technical knockout in Grozny, Russia. Browne won the so-called regular version of the WBA belt, but Tyson Fury is considered the WBA "unified" champ.


McGregor cashes $1 million payday

Conor McGregor became the first UFC fighter to make a disclosed $1 million purse in his nontitle fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 late Saturday in Las Vegas, the Nevada Athletic Commission reported. Anderson Silva made $800,000 against Nick Diaz in early 2015. UFC 196 also featured unbeaten Holly Holm, making $500,000 to face Miesha Tate.


U.S. advances in Davis Cup

John Isner moved the United States into the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup, defeating Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) early today for a winning 3-1 edge over host Australia in Melbourne. On Saturday, twins Bob and Mike Bryan topped captain Lleyton Hewitt, who came out of a 41-day retirement to replace Sam Groth, and John Peers.


Downs mark tied

Tampa Bay Downs leading trainer Gerald Bennett, whose 72nd birthday is March 12, tied a track record with wins on all four starters at Oldsmar. His winners: Thunder Harbor (Race 3), Antoine's (4), R Quick Temper (5) and Taipan's Advantage (8). Jamie Ness (twice) and Kathleen O'Connell also have had four-win cards.

Gotham Stakes: Shagaf won the $400,000 stakes race at Aqueduct, improving to 3-0.

Et cetera

Gymnastics: Reigning Olympic champ Gabrielle Douglas won the American Cup in Newark, N.J., with 60.195 points, edging U.S. teammate Maggie Nichols.

Motorcycles: Eli Tomac won in AMA Supercross at Daytona International Speedway.

Swimming: Michael Phelps was third in the 100-meter freestyle at a meet in Orlando in 49.57 seconds; Nathan Adrian (48.05) won.

Iditarod: The 1,000-mile dog sled race officially starts today in Willow, Alaska.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief 03/05/16 [Last modified: Saturday, March 5, 2016 11:39pm]
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© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


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  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

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  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.