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Rays best Jays, continue dominance at home

May 22, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Randy Arozarena (56) celebrates after hitting a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

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, homer, two runs and an RBI. 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 start. He allowed six runs (two earned) 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, leading to Siri’s two-run blast.

Guerrero committed another missed-catch error in the third, but right fielder George Springer made a leaping grab high on the wall with two runners on and one out.

But 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 got that run 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. But he got a groundout back to him by Bo Bichette with the bases full for his fifth save.

–Field Level Media

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