Paredes and Franco lift the Rays over the Blue Jays 6-2 |

TORONTO (AP) — Isaac Paredes and Wander Franco hit solo home runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.

Randy Arozarena, Rene Pinto and Yandy Diaz each had an RBI single as Tampa Bay (41-36) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Shane McClanahan (9-3) was tagged by the Rays, striking out 10 and allowing one run on three hits in seven innings of work. Javy Guerra and Phoenix Sanders wrapped things up for Tampa.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s first-inning single 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 allowed four hits in two shutout innings before getting hit for a comeback. He was removed from the game with a right ankle contusion.

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Casey Lawrence (0-1), who had been called up from triple-A for the doubleheader, pitched 5 2-3 innings in relief, allowing six runs. Max Castillo entered after him.

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Thomas Hatch (0-1) was scheduled to start for the Blue Jays in the second game of the day, with Drew Rasmussen (5-3) for Tampa Bay.

Toronto took an early lead in the first inning, on Guerrero’s single to right field. Bichette ran home from second base, sliding headfirst into home plate for a 1-0 lead.

Gausman was injured in the second inning when Franco’s ball hit sharply and bounced off the turf and struck the pitcher’s right ankle. He attempted to field the ball, but ended up lying face down on the field in obvious pain when catcher Gabriel Moreno called out at first base to end the inning.

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Coaches had to help Gausman off the field and he was subsequently replaced by Lawrence. The Blue Jays said X-rays of Gausman’s ankle came back negative.

Paredes got to Lawrence in the third, hitting a home run to 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 the inside of Lawrence’s knee before caroming to Bichette at shortstop. That gave Franco enough time to race home and make it 2-1.

After throwing a few warm-up pitches, Lawrence stayed in the game.

Three batters later, Pinto singled to right field, putting Ramírez and Arozarena at the plate for a 4-1 lead.

Franco rallied in the sixth inning, hitting the first pitch he saw from Lawrence that inning to deep left field. Toronto outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could only watch, leaning in to try to foul the ball, but held on just for a 5-1 lead.

Diaz added a run for the Rays in the eighth, driving home Taylor Walls with a single to center field.

Chapman hit a double play in the ninth, giving Teoscar Hernandez enough time to race home for the final run of the game.

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EXTRA HELP: Lawrence was called up from triple-A as the 27th man in both games of the doubleheader. The replacement player is allowed by Major League Baseball for doubleheaders.

PIRATES TRADE — The Blue Jays announced during the first game of the doubleheader that they had completed a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda. Toronto sent Pittsburgh cash considerations in return. Right-hander Julian Merryweather was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 2, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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