Big eighth inning highlights Rays’ win

by Gary Shelton on August 23, 2023

in general

Diaz knocked in the go-ahead run./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Maybe, just maybe, the Tampa Bay Rays are going to be all right without Wander Franco.

Rookie Osleivis Babase continued the impressive start to his major league career Tuesday night, hitting a grand slam in the eighth inning to highlight the Rays’ 12-4 comeback victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Basabe — who may be here for some time because of Tuesday’s decision to place Franco on “administrative leave” —  also had a single and improved his average to .302.

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The Rays actually trailed 4-3 going into the eighth inning but exploded for nine runs on eight hits. The key hits were by Christian Bethancourt, whose pinch-hit single tied the game at 4. Yandy Diaz gave the Rays a lead with a single to left, and Randy Arozarena knocked in another when his fly ball  ticked off the glove of Nolan Jones for a single.

Diaz had three hits, the game-winner being the highlight. He is hitting .328, tops in the American League. It was the 16th time this season Diaz has had at leasts three hits in a game.

But the big blow was by Basabe, who hit his first major league homer.

The Rays continued their offensive surge. In their last seven games (five wins), they’ve scored 61 runs on 94 hits.

The Rays got three hits each from Diaz and from Isaac Paredes. Arozarena, Jose Siri and Basabe all had two hits.

Zack Littell started for the Rays and went 5 1/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and four earned runs. Andrew Kittredge got the win.

The Rays and Rockies will play the second game of their series tonight at Tropicana Field at 6:40 p.m. Aaron Civale will start for the Rays against Austin Gomber.

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