Jose Siri slugged one of three Tampa Bay home runs as the Rays opened their three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-4 win on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
As part of a three-run second inning, Siri belted a center-cut, 93 mph fastball from Toronto starter Chris Bassitt (5-3) over the center field wall. The two-run shot was Siri’s seventh homer of the season.
Randy Arozarena was 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two runs for Tampa Bay. Luke Raley also homered, and Wander Franco had two hits, including a triple.
Josh Fleming (1-0) tossed six innings behind opener Trevor Kelley as the Rays moved to 22-4 at home and won for the third time in four outings on their current 10-game homestand.
Bassitt, who was 4-0 in his previous six starts, was victimized by poor fielding in his 6 1/3-inning outing. He allowed six runs (two earned), walked one and struck out four, but three of the seven hits against him were long balls.
Whit Merrifield went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and Daulton Varsho popped his seventh homer of the season for the Blue Jays.
Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stretched and failed to catch a throw from second baseman Merrifield on Christian Bethancourt’s grounder that would have ended the second, with a run scoring on the play. Siri followed with his two-run blast.
Guerrero committed another missed-catch error in the third before right fielder George Springer made a leaping grab of Arozarena’s drive high up the wall with two runners on and one out.
However, Isaac Paredes’ single up the middle plated Yandy Diaz to give the Rays their fourth unearned run against Bassitt.
In the fourth, Merrifield sliced the deficit in half by driving his second homer of the year to almost the same spot as Siri’s.
After Franco was thrown out at home by former Rays Gold Glover Kevin Kiermaier in the fifth, Tampa Bay a back leading off the sixth when Arozarena hit his 11th homer.
Raley added his ninth homer, a solo shot, in the seventh.
Following Varsho’s homer and a pair of singles in the ninth, Rays closer Pete Fairbanks entered and allowed Brandon Belt’s RBI single. However, Fairbanks got a groundout back to him from Bo Bichette with the bases full to seal his fifth save.
–Field Level Media