Díaz, Lowe, Arozarena deliver run-scoring hits in three-run eighth inning as Rays beat Cardinals
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Yandy Díaz, Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena hit RBI singles in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Josh Lowe opened the eighth with a triple against Miles Mikolas (6-8). Andre Pallante entered and retired pinch-hitter Harold Ramírez on a grounder before Díaz hit a groundball single to center that made it 2-1 — the first of four consecutive base hits. Lowe and Arozarena drove in runs with their hits.
Díaz went 4 for 4 and raised his average from .315 to .322 on his 32nd birthday as the Rays improved to 7-3 in their last 10 games. The first baseman was serenaded by a band during batting practice.
“We're definitely bringing the band again, so he can get four more hits,” Tampa Bay catcher Christian Bethancourt said.
Isaac Paredes hit his team-leading 22nd homer of the season in the seventh inning, when he knotted the game at 1-all.
Tampa Bay center fielder Jose Siri helped preserve the 1-all tie with a leaping catch at the wall on Nolan Gorman’s two-out drive off Jason Adam (3-2) with a runner on first in the top of the eighth.
Pete Fairbanks, the third Rays' pitcher, gave up a solo homer to Willson Contreras in the ninth before nailing down his 15th save and completing the five-hitter.
Rays starter Zach Eflin failed in his bid to become the AL's first, and the major's third, 13-game winner. He allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out eight in an outing in which he threw 71 of 99 pitches for strikes.
“Very impressive," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “He had it all going, sinker, cutter, some big breaking balls in there. It was a well-pitched game on both ends.”
Eflin has worked seven or more innings seven times this season, which is tied for third-most in the AL.
Before the game, Cash said it is “highly unlikely” that All-Star left-hander Shane McClanahan will pitch again this season because of a left arm injury. Options include Tommy John surgery.
Mikolas made the start after serving a five-game suspension from MLB for intentionally throwing at the Chicago Cubs' Ian Happ on July 27. He gave up two runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.
“He was very good, especially navigating that lineup,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “Had everything for strikes, pounded the zone. It was a realy good mix. Impressive outing.”
St. Louis has lost 12 of its last 17 games. The Cardinals have also dropped nine of 10 to Tampa Bay.
Nolan Arenado put the Cardinals ahead 1-0 on 24th homer leading off the second. He also flew out twice against Eflin on balls to the warning track.
Aremado tied Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies for the second-most interleague RBIs this season with 31. Only Houston’s Alex Bregman has driven in more interleague runs with 32.
Cardinals: OF Tyler O’Neill was a late scratch due to left knee tightness and is day to day. Marmol said O'Neill felt the discomfort as the day went on. … Reliever Ryan Helsley (right elbow strain) will make his second appearance with Double-A Springfield on Wednesday. RHP Jake Woodford (right shoulder strain) will pitch in the same game against San Antonio.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (back spasms) received an injection, but might start this weekend against Cleveland.
Rays LHP Jalen Beeks (2-3) will start a bullpen game Wednesday night against Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (2-0).
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