Yandy Díaz, Jose Siri homer as Rays beat Dodgers

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ST. PETERSBURG — The last time the Rays and Dodgers shared the same field, Los Angeles celebrated its first World Series championship since 1988 at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

They have been the two most consistently successful clubs in baseball since the start of that shortened season, with the Dodgers going 291-145 over the past three years and the Rays close behind them at 264-173. Both clubs are once again among the top of the Majors this season, but Tampa Bay stands out for its dynamic lineup that scored early and often produced a 9-3 Friday night win at Tropicana Field.

“I’ve always said this team is capable of anything,” midfielder Jose Siri said through interpreter Manny Navarro. “We have the home runs. We can run. We play defense. We can do anything.”

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The Rays scored in a variety of ways in Friday’s win, befitting a team that leads the Majors by significant margins in both home runs and stolen bases.

They used their speed and acumen of baserunning to steal four bases against the Dodgers, and they showed their strength with two home runs: one off opener Yandy Díaz and the other off the bat of No. 9-hitting Siri.

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“They hit. They take 90 feet through the stolen base. The first part of the equation is to try and keep these guys off the base,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. aggressive. They use their roster well and maximize skills. “

The Rays also had to make the most of nearly every available pitcher on Friday night, as they improved this season to 25-5 at Tropicana Field and 38-15 overall.

They sent eight pitchers to the mound, starting with opener Jalen Beeks and bulk-innings right-hander Cooper Criswell, who got his first big league win (and a celebratory beer storm) with four innings with one run after giving up five runs for the Brewers. last time out.

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“Overall team effort,” said Criswell.

The Rays allowed nine hits, six walks and one batter hit, but they held the Dodgers to three hits in 14 at bats with runners in scoring position and left eleven. They turned two important double plays. Relievers Jake Diekman, Colin Poche and Jason Adam recorded only one out each, but they all defused potential rallies and Pete Fairbanks threw a perfect ninth.

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“They did a nice job. They had to,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “LA has plenty of guys on base. I felt like when we needed a big pitch, it seemed to happen quite often for us.

The Rays’ lineup also gave the pitching staff plenty of room to work with.

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In the first inning, Díaz doubled off Dodgers starter Noah Syndergaard—extending his on-base streak to 20 games—and advanced to third when Wander Franco hit an infield single that failed to get past first base. Brandon Lowe delivered a runscoring groundout, then Josh Lowe hit an RBI single to center field.

Tampa Bay scored two more runs in the second on runscoring outs, a Díaz groundout and a sac-fly by Franco to make it a 4-1 game.

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Taylor Walls hit a two-out single to center in the third inning, then stole second and third to get in position to score on a single to left by Christian Bethancourt, who finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.

“Everyone is just doing their part,” Díaz said through Navarro. “Everyone just does the little things, and when everyone does the little things, it turns into something big.”

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After sitting out the last three games while dealing with a family matter, Díaz brought the power in the fourth inning by sending a towering shot to left field for his team-leading 12th homer.

“I didn’t think he would forget how to hit,” Cash said, “so I was right.”

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The Rays extended their lead in the seventh. Franco reached on a fielder’s choice grounder, stole second base—the Rays’ fourth steal and Franco’s 18th of the year—and scored on Brandon Lowe’s hard-hit single to right. Then Siri hit a two-run homer in the eighth to give him nine homers and a .905 OPS.

“He’s putting together a special season. He’s doing a lot of good things for us, making adjustments from game to game, making adjustments from bat to bat,” said Cash. “So happy with the way he’s handled it.”

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