Big innings propel Tampa Bay Rays in rout of New York Mets

May 15, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Austin Meadows (17) celebrates after hitting a one-run double during the fourth inning of a game against the New York Mets at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Pinch hitter Austin Meadows drove in the go-ahead run in a five-run fourth inning and Shane McClanahan won for the first time in the majors as the Tampa Bay Rays posted a 12-5 win over the New York Mets on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

As they did in Friday’s 3-2 series-opening win, the Rays had to battle back against the Mets. Tampa Bay received five hits in the fourth inning and secured a 5-4 lead off Joey Lucchesi (1-3) on a double by Meadows.

Joey Wendle (three doubles, two RBIs, two runs scored) went 4-for-5 and Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena each produced three-hit performances for the Rays, who won their third straight game.

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In a career-long 5 1/3 innings, the left-handed McClanahan (1-0) surrendered four runs and two homers but struck out seven — all career-high marks. He allowed six hits and walked just one in the 75-pitch outing.

New York’s Jose Peraza belted a three-run homer and Pete Alonso went deep for the first time in 16 games. Francisco Lindor also homered for the Mets.

Drew Smith served as the opener, logging two innings and yielding one unearned run on two hits before being relieved by Lucchesi.

With the bases empty in the bottom of the first, Diaz sliced a ground-rule double and Wendle reached on an infield dribbler. Wendle stole second and catcher Tomas Nido’s throw bounced away from Peraza, allowing Diaz to hustle home from third for a 1-0 lead.

Peraza picked his club up in the second by belting McClanahan’s hanging breaking ball for a three-run homer to left-center field. It was his first home run with the Mets.

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After five straight strikeouts in front of friends and family to start the series, Tampa product Alonso took advantage of another breaking ball with little movement in the third inning. He lifted a towering homer to left field for his sixth homer of the season.

The Rays captured the lead after run-scoring hits by Manuel Margot, Willy Adames (two-run double), Meadows and Arozarena in the five-run fourth inning.

Lindor cut the deficit to 6-5 leading off the eighth, but the Rays scored six insurance runs in the bottom of the frame on two-run doubles by Diaz, Wendle and Brett Phillips.

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–Field Level Media