Brandon Lowe hit a pair of home runs to lead the host Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon.
Tampa Bay, which has won six consecutive games, goes for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon.
Lowe got things going in a hurry, sending the first pitch he saw from Toronto starter Ross Stripling (3-5) a dozen rows into the right field seats.
The Blue Jays came back in the third when Santiago Espinal led off with a double and scored on Marcus Semien’s 22nd home run of the season.
The Rays tied the score at 2 in the third when Mike Zunino led off with a homer to left. Kevin Kiermaier then doubled and scored on Lowe’s second homer of the day.
Tampa Bay made it 5-2 in the eighth as Austin Meadows led off with a single, stole second and came home on a single from Randy Arozarena.
Lowe ended up going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and was the only Tampa Bay player with multiple hits on Saturday.
Ryan Yarbrough (6-3) picked up the win after leaving holding the 4-2 lead. He went five innings, giving up two runs off five hits with four strikeouts.
For the second consecutive game, the Tampa Bay bullpen shut out the Jays.
The Rays’ bullpen goes into Sunday not allowing a run in their past 18 innings of work after Cleveland scored three in the sixth inning on Monday.
Nine of those scoreless innings have come against Toronto in this series. On Saturday, closer Diego Castillo worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save of the season after Toronto put runners on with one out.
Stripling went 3 2/3 innings before Toronto turned things over to its bullpen. He gave up four runs on four hits with five strikeouts.
–Field Level Media