Rays follow Arozarena to win over Jays

by Gary Shelton on September 24, 2022

in general

Saturday, 3 a.m.

There are times he can be frustrating, when he turns reckless on the base paths, when it seems he cannot control his own legs.

And then there are nights such as Friday night, when the Tampa Bay Rays might as well put his face on their cap.

At times such as these, this is Randy Arozarena's team and everyone else is in a supporting role. Arozarena drove in a career-high six runs Friday night, lifting the Rays to a 10-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The win left the teams in a tie for the top wild-card berth in the American League.

The Rays let leads of 3-0 and 6-4 get away, but pulled out the victory with a four-run eighth. Arozarena had a two-run single in that inning, and he had a three-run homer in the fifth.

Arozarena has had 40 RBI since the first of August, most in major league baseball.

"He’s a big key," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We know that. Randy had his at-bat in the first when he went the other way to get the RBI (a ground out.) Then he had the three run homer and the single in the eighth."

Jeffrey Springs started for the Rays and was doing well. In the fifth, however, he gave up four hits and four runs.

After Arozarena hit his home run (it bounded off the top of the fence in right field) to give the Rays a two-run lead, the Jays again came back. Reliever Colin Poche gave up two runs in a third of an inning.

But the Rays pieced together four in the eighth. Taylor Walls scored on a shallow fly ball by David Peralta and Miles Mastrobuoni scored on an error. Arozarena then singled off the top of the left field fence.

The home run meant that Arozarena will finish with a 20-30 season, only the third in franchise history. B.J. Upton had the first two in 2011 and 2012.

“Exciting game," Cash said. "We know we’re playing a very good team.  No lead is good enough with that lineup. "

The Rays and Jays play again today at 6:10 p.m. Drew Rasmussen will pitch for the Rays against Alex Manoah.

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