Paredes, Franco lifts Rays over Blue Jays 6-2

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

Randy Arozarena, René Pinto and Yandy Diaz each had an RBI single as Tampa Bay (41-36) went on a four-game sled.

Shane McClanahan (9-3) was selected for the Rays, hitting out 10 and giving up a run on three hits over seven innings of work. Javy Guerra and Phoenix Sanders wrapped things up for Tampa.

“[McClanahan]looks like a guy who’s throwing 91, but he’s really throwing 96, 97, which is tough,” said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo. “He’s definitely one of the best pitchers in baseball.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s single in the first inning opened Toronto (44-34) winning the first two of a rare five-game streak. Matt Chapman added a late run as he finished in ninth place.

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Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman batted three and gave up four hits in two scoreless innings before being hit by a comebacker. He was pulled out of the game with a bruised right ankle.

“Just like everyone else, I was hoping it was nothing worse than a bruise and that’s what happened and that’s good news,” Montoyo said. “And then (I thought about it) who would be covering the game.”

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Casey Lawrence (0-1), recalled last Saturday for Triple-A’s doubleheader, put on 5 2/3 innings of relief and allowed six runs. Max Castillo came after him.

“When you get into that situation, it’s easy for me to put my head down and try to get as deep into the game as possible while still giving us a chance to win,” said Lawrence, who threw in 99 pitches Start for Buffalo on Tuesday.

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

Toronto took an early lead in the first inning with Guerrero singling to right field. Bo Bichette sprinted home from second base and slid headlong into the plate to take a 1-0 lead.

Gausman’s injury came in the second inning when Franco’s hard-hitting ball bounced off the turf and smashed into the pitcher’s right ankle. He tried to field the ball but instead lay face down on the field in obvious pain when catcher Gabriel Moreno got the put out at first base to end the inning.

Gausman had to be helped off the field by coaches and was subsequently replaced by Lawrence. The Blue Jays said X-rays of Gausman’s ankle were negative.

Paredes joined Lawrence in the third and hit a home run in the Blue Jays’ bullpen in left field to level the game 1-1.

Arozarena gave the Rays their first lead of the game when his single bounced off the turf and smashed into Lawrence’s inner knee before dashing toward Bichette at the shortstop. That gave Franco enough time to head home and make it 2-1.

Lawrence stayed in the game after throwing a few warmup pitches.

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Three batters later, Pinto singled to the right and smashed Ramirez and Arozarena 4-1.

Franco piled high in the sixth and hit the first pitch he saw from Lawrence that inning to deep left. Toronto outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could only watch and attempted to foul the ball, but it remained fair for a 5-1 advantage.

Diaz put up a run for the Rays in eighth place and drove home Taylor Walls with a single to center.

Chapman managed a double play in the ninth game, giving Teoscar Hernandez enough time to scurry home for the game’s final heat.

ADDITIONAL HELP – Lawrence was recalled as the 27th man for both games of Triple-A’s doubleheader. The substitute is approved by Major League Baseball for doubleheaders.

PIRATE DEAL — The Blue Jays announced during the first game of the doubleheader that they had struck a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda. In return, Toronto sent cash payments to Pittsburgh. Righty Julian Merryweather was placed on the 60-day injured list.

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

© 2022 The Canadian Press Paredes, Franco lifts Rays over Blue Jays 6-2


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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