MLB: Brandon Lowe’s grand slam powers Rays past Jays

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Brandon Lowe socked his fourth career grand slam and the Tampa Bay Rays won for the first time in 2024, routing the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 on Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The left-handed-hitting Lowe, who went 2-for-5, belted the blast in the third as the Rays broke open their second game with Toronto with six runs over a four-inning stretch.

Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs, while Randy Arozarena had two hits and an RBI.

Rays right-hander Aaron Civale (1-0) allowed a run and four hits in his six-inning, 86-pitch outing. He fanned six and walked one.

Acquired from the New York Yankees on Wednesday in a three-team deal involving the Miami Marlins, catcher Ben Rortvedt was 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk in his Rays debut.

Toronto’s George Springer hit a solo homer for the second straight night and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled twice and walked.

Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt (0-1) lasted five innings but yielded five runs (four earned) on six hits to go along with six strikeouts and two walks.

The visitors managed just six hits and committed three errors.

Despite banging out only seven hits Thursday — though three were solo shots — in an 8-2 Opening Day win, Toronto manager John Schneider rolled out the same victorious lineup for the rematch.

Springer, who homered in his second at-bat Thursday, made it 1-0 by duplicating the feat against Civale in the third inning.

After the right-hander retired eight of the first nine batters, Springer jumped on a 77 mph curveball, sending it an estimated 362 feet to left.

The bottom of the Rays’ lineup and some shoddy fielding helped Tampa Bay answer with four runs in the bottom half.

Rortvedt led off with a single, Jose Caballero was hit by a pitch and Diaz reached on Bo Bichette’s fielding error, setting the stage for Lowe’s soaring grand slam to right-center, a 444-foot rocket.

Arozarena added an RBI single in the fifth to increase the lead to 5-1.

Jose Siri singled in the sixth, stole two bases and scored on Caballero’s fielder’s choice.

Diaz drove in two runs with a two-out single in the eighth, and Alejandro Kirk hit a sacrifice fly to score Justin Turner, who had doubled, in the ninth.

–Field Level Media

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