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Rays Keep Rolling: Paredes Slam Sends Them To 7-0

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays’ historic run to start 2023 continued Friday, as Isaac Paredes’ grand slam was one of five home runs hit in the game, helping Zach Eflin to his second win in as many starts in defeating the Oakland Athletics 9-5 at Tropicana Field to remain unblemished at 7-0.

Paredes grand slam, his second home run of the year and the second grand slam of his career, capped a six-run bottom of the second inning that also featured Harold Ramirez’s second home run of the season, a solo shot that tied the game at one apiece.

Tampa Bay added two more solo homers in the third, with Manuel Margot and Christian Bethancourt each going deep.  For Bethancourt, it was his first hit of the 2023 season.

Wander Franco capped the Rays’ scoring in the eighth with his third homer of the year, hit left-handed off reliever Adam Oller.

Eflin (2-0) allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings of work, striking out seven without walking a batter.  Calvin Faucher allowed a home run to Shea Langeliers in his two innings of relief, and Jason Adam allowed Tony Kemp to drive in Langeliers in the ninth, but didn’t allow the A’s to get closer than 9-5.

Jeffrey Springs (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will get the start Saturday afternoon as Tampa Bay looks to run its record to 8-0 on the year and earn a third consecutive series win, taking on Shintaro Fujinami (0-1, 30.86 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 4:10.

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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