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TORONTO – Isaac Paredes and Wander Franco both hit solo home runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader. Randy Arozarena, René Pinto and Yandy Diaz each had an RBI single as Tampa Bay (41-36) snapped a four-game skid.
Shane McClanahan (9-3) was dialled in for the Rays, striking out 10 and giving up one run on three hits over seven innings of work. Javy Guerra and Phoenix Sanders closed things out for Tampa.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s single in the first inning opened the scoring for Toronto (44-34), which won the first two of the rare five-game series. Matt Chapman added a late run when he grounded out in the ninth.
Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman struck out three and gave up four hits in two scoreless innings before being hit by a comebacker. He was removed from the game with a right ankle contusion.
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Casey Lawrence (0-1), who had been recalled from triple-A for the doubleheader, pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief, allowing six runs. Max Castillo came on after him. Related Videos 4:18 Jays Care Foundation campaign aims to get more kids on the diamond Thomas Hatch (0-1) was scheduled to start for the Blue Jays in the day’s second game, with Drew Rasmussen (5-3) going for Tampa Bay.
Toronto jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, with Guerrero singling to right field. Bichette sprinted home from second base, sliding headfirst into the plate for a 1-0 lead. Trending Stories Gausman went down with an injury in the second inning when Franco’s sharply hit ball bounced off the turf and into the pitcher’s right ankle. He attempted to field the ball, but instead ended up laying face down on the field in obvious pain as catcher Gabriel Moreno got the put out at first base to end the inning.
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Gausman had to be helped off the field by trainers and was subsequently replaced by Lawrence. The Blue Jays said that X-rays on Gausman’s ankle were negative.
Paredes got to Lawrence in the third, hitting a home run into the Blue Jays’ bullpen in left field to tie the game 1-1.
Arozarena gave the Rays their first lead of the game when his single bounced off the turf and into Lawrence’s inner knee before caroming toward Bichette at shortstop. That gave Franco enough time to race home and make it 2-1.
After throwing a few warmup pitches Lawrence stayed in the game.
Three batters later, Pinto’s singled to right, plating Ramirez