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Arozarena’s Blast Leads Rays To Second Straight Win

Outfielder Randy Arozarena watches his home run to right field. (photo: Tampa Bay Rays)

Randy Arozarena blasted his first home run of the season, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays saw tempers run hot as the Rays earned a second straight victory in their four-game series with a 5-1 decision Saturday.

Leading 1-0 after Amed Rosario‘s RBI single in the second, Arozarena would come to the plate in the fifth inning against Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi and take a pitch away into the right field stands.

Arozarena finished with two hits and a walk, a pair of stolen bases, and three runs scored.

Jose Caballero made the game 3-0 with a sacrifice fly off reliever Trevor Richards later in the inning, bringing in Isaac Paredes.

Zack Littell earned the win going six shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six.

Colin Poche allowed Toronto’s only run int he seventh,a s Daulton Varshjo drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a single by Ernie Clement, and scored three batters later on a single by Cavan Biggio.

Tampa Bay got the run back in the bottom of the eighth as Arozarena singled, stole both second and third, and scored on a check swing single by Caballero that reliever Genesis Cabrera threw down the first base line.  Cabrera would get into an altercation with Caballero, who was tagged out at third base trying to stretch on the play, causing the benches to clear.

A sacrifice fly by Yandy Diaz in the eighth would set the score at 5-1.

Tampa Bay will look to earn a series win with a victory in Sunday’s finale.  Shawn Armstrong (0-0, 13.50 ERA) will open in from of Tyler Alexander, taking on Kevin Gausman (12-9 3.16 ERA in 2023).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:40.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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