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Rays rally late, finish off sweep of Pirates

Jun 26, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Josh Lowe (15) singles during the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shane McClanahan went seven strong innings and the Tampa Bay Rays used a two-out, three-run rally in the seventh inning to earn a 4-2 victory and complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Rays’ Isaac Paredes was 3-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a walk. Josh Lowe (RBI) and Yandy Diaz (double) had two hits for Tampa Bay, while Ji-Man Choi doubled in a run and walked twice.

Back in the lineup for the first time since May 30 after he recovered from a right quad strain, shortstop Wander Franco went 1-for-5.

Daniel Vogelbach hit a home run and Bryan Reynolds had an RBI single as the Pirates managed only six hits.

After being involved in a collision in Thursday’s 8-7 win over the Chicago Cubs, Pirates leadoff hitter Ke’Bryan Hayes returned and was 1-for-4.

The Rays improved to a major league best 10-1 in interleague play, while the Pirates are 1-6.

With starters McClanahan (1.81 ERA) and Roansy Contreras (2.89) making their first career starts against the opposition, runs were at a premium. Each pitcher allowed one.

McClanahan (8-3) yielded four hits, while striking out 10 without a walk over 99 pitches. He retired the final 11 batters he faced and now has a majors league-leading 123 strikeouts.

Contreras allowed only four hits, but the right-hander issued five walks and tossed a wild pitch while striking out four. Pittsburgh right-hander Tyler Beede (0-1) gave up one run on two hits over 1 2/3 innings.

The Rays broke through in the second inning without putting a ball in play. Choi, Harold Ramirez and Paredes drew walks, but Contreras struck out Francisco Mejia for the second out. Contreras then walked walking Vidal Brujan on five pitches as the Rays took a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates tied it in the third on Reynolds’ looping a two-out, RBI single to left to score Yu Chang, who opened with a single.

In the seventh, Tampa Bay appeared to run their way out of a scoring chance when Randy Arozarena was caught on a stolen-base attempt. The Rays challenged the call, and it was overturned to keep the inning alive.

Choi followed with a go-ahead double to score Arozarena. Lowe and Paredes then notched RBI singles.

Vogelbach hit his ninth homer in the following inning, but The Rays’ Brooks Raley pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in five opportunities.

–Field Level Media