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Tampa Bay Times

Early start, nonstop hitting lead to wild Rays win over Dodgers

By Kristie Ackert,

Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes hits a two-run double in the second inning of Sunday's game against the Dodgers at Tropicana Field. Paredes drove in four runs and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

ST. PETERSBURG — It began with the unusually early start time Sunday morning, and then the Rays’ 11-10 win over the Dodgers just got weirder from there.

Tampa Bay hit just one home run, committed two errors and made a few unusual mistakes while its pitching allowed five homers in a bizarre game in front of 21, 043 that closed a 10-game homestand at Tropicana Field.

The Rays took the series two games to one in their first meeting with the Dodgers since the 2020 World Series. They improved to 39-16, tying a season-high 23 games over .500. They won all three series during the homestand, going 7-3.

The Rays on Sunday pulled out to a lead five times; 1-0, 7-3, 8-7 and 10-7. The Dodgers rallied four times to answer and headed into the seventh tied at 10. That’s when Luke Raley scored on Wander Franco’s RBI groundout to second base to put Tampa Bay ahead to stay.

Isaac Paredes had three hits, including the Rays’ only home run, and drove in four runs. He finished the day a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

With a start time two hours earlier than usual due to the game being broadcast on the Peacock streaming app, both teams proved they could roll out of bed and hit. It was the other aspects of the game — pitching and fielding — they struggled with early on.

The Rays put up six runs in the bottom of the second inning, which began with a Jose Siri line drive that bounced over the head of Dodgers’ leftfielder Chris Taylor for a triple and featured doubles from Paredes and Luke Raley, and five straight hits off Los Angeles starter Gavin Stone after two outs.

The Dodgers answered in the top of the third, which began with Freddie Freeman’s fly ball dropping out of Siri’s glove. LA scored four runs in the inning, two unearned after Brandon Lowe sailed a short throw over the head of Wander Franco at second base.

Yandy Diaz extended his on-base streak to a career-high-matching 22 straight games with an RBI single in the third.

Paredes hit his eighth home run of the season in the fourth, and Josh Lowe (who stole second and third) scored on Raley’s groundout to give the Rays a three-run cushion.

Josh Fleming allowed 10 runs, eight earned, on 12 hits and two walks but did get through six innings. The lefty, who was making just his third traditional start this season, at least gave the Rays’ gassed bullpen a little respite.

But it was a long day for him.

Fleming gave up a two-out home run to Trayce Thompson in the fifth to cut the Rays’ lead to two runs and then back-to-back homers to J.D. Martinez and Chris Taylor in the sixth.

Jalen Beeks came on and hard to work hard in the seventh after throwing 31 pitches as the opener on Friday. He struck out Miguel Vargas and should have had two outs when Siri dropped Miguel Rojas’ liner for a two-base error. Beeks walked Thompson on four pitches before striking out Austin Barnes and getting Mookie Betts to lineout.

Jason Adam earned a six-out save as Pete Fairbanks stopped warming up and left the bullpen with a trainer.

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