Wander Franco drives in 3 as Rays beat Blue Jays 10-5

Sep 22, 2022, 7:30 AM | Updated: 8:57 pm

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough reacts after getting hurt during the third inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Yarbrough left the game. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wander Franco had three RBIs, Jonathan Aranda homered and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-5 on Thursday night in the opener of a big four-game series between playoff contenders.

Randy Arozarena had three hits and drove in two runs for the Rays, who were coming off a three-game series in which they were swept by Houston and scored just twice.

“Baseball’s weird. I saw a score tonight that was a little different.” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “They do a good job of flushing it, getting to the next day, coming in ready to work, get better, and find a way to win.”

Tampa Bay (83-67) pulled within one game of Toronto (84-66) for the top spot in the AL wild-card standings. Seattle (82-67) is in third, four games ahead of Baltimore.

Whit Merrifield homered twice for Toronto, and Teoscar Hernández also went deep. José Berríos (11-6) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in two innings.

“It was just a little bit weird with getting ahead and not putting guys away,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said of Berríos, who threw 74 pitches,.

Toronto has dropped three of four after winning 13 of 17 to start September.

Manuel Margot’s infield RBI single, and run-scoring hits by Franco and Arozarena put the Rays up 6-3 in the second.

Franco added a two-run double during the Rays’ three-run fourth.

“I think we did the right adjustments today,” Franco said through a translator. “We played really good, and hopefully we can continue on with this energy.”

Cash opted to have Ryan Yarbrough (3-8) replace opener JT Chargois to start the second, facing a pair of hitters with some career success against the lefty.

Hernández hit a leadoff homer, his seventh in 34 at-bats against Yarbrough. One out later, Merrifield tied it at 3 with his solo shot, giving him seven hits, including two homers, in nine at-bats against the left-hander.

Merrifield added a two-run drive in the ninth.

Yarbrough left in the third with right oblique strain and is “highly likely going on the IL,” according to Cash.

Garrett Cleavinger replaced Yarbrough and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings before Shawn Armstrong, Brooks Raley and Colin Poche combined for three hitless innings.

Aranda homered on the second pitch from Berríos in a three-run first. Arozarena hit a run-scoring double, went to third on a throw to the plate and scored on a wild pitch.

Toronto’s Bo Bichette hit a run-scoring double in the first, giving him 24 RBIs in 21 games in September.

CATCH OF THE GAME

Rays radio play-by-play man Andy Freed caught a foul ball from Toronto’s George Springer during the seventh in a net the broadcasters keep in their box.

MANOAH MAGIC

The Blue Jays are lining up right-hander Alek Manoah (14-7. 2.40 ERA) to start the final regular-season game or a potential wild-card opener.

Schneider would use Manoah if home-field advantage was at stake.

“I think there would be nothing better than playing in front of our fans in the postseason after the last couple years (impacted by the pandemic),” Schneider said. “We haven’t been there with what the world and country has been through.”

COMING AND GOING

Rays right-hander Kevin Herget, who made his big league debut on Sept. 13 after a decade in the minors, was designated for assignment.

Infielder/outfielder Miles Mastrobuoni was selected from Triple-A Durham after seven years in the minors and a couple weeks following his brother’s wedding.

“It’s been an eventful month for our family,” Mastrobuoni said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left hamstring) is doing baseball activities and could soon start running . … INF Santiago Espinal (left oblique) went on the IL.

Rays: Ace Shane McClanahan (neck stiffness) had a bullpen session and is set to start Sunday. … 3B Yandy Díaz (left shoulder) got a cortisone shot. … Cash said 2B Brandon Lowe (back) is still sore but it isn’t known if it stems from the injury or a recent shot.

UP NEXT

Rays LHP Jeffrey Springs (9-4) will start Friday night. Toronto has not announced its starter.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

10 mountaineers killed after avalanche in northern India

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 10 trainee mountaineers died Tuesday after being swept away by an avalanche in the Himalayas in northern India, media reports said, as rescuers searched for 11 others missing. A group of 29 people was hit by an avalanche on a mountain peak located in the Gangotri range of the […]
1 day ago
People offer prayers near the statue of a lion, the mascot of Arema FC, outside Kanjuruhan Stadium ...
Associated Press

Indonesia police: Stadium exit gates too small for escape

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — The gates at the Indonesian soccer stadium where police fired tear gas that set off a deadly crush were too small and could only accommodate two at a time when hundreds were trying to escape, police investigators said Tuesday. Photos from the Malang stadium where 125 people died and hundreds were […]
1 day ago
FILE - Workers walk to the Lusail Stadium, one of the 2022 World Cup stadiums, in Lusail, Qatar, Fr...
Associated Press

Paris joins in TV boycott of World Cup games from Qatar

PARIS (AP) — Paris will not broadcast World Cup matches on giant screens in public fan zones amid concerns over rights violations of migrant workers and the environmental impact of the tournament in Qatar. It follows similar moves by other French cities, despite France going in as the defending champion. “There is the problem of […]
1 day ago
Kadokawa Corp. Chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Sept. 5, 2022. Kadokawa ...
Associated Press

Publishing executive charged in Tokyo Olympic bribes scandal

TOKYO (AP) — A top executive at a major Japanese publisher was charged Tuesday with bribing a former Tokyo Olympics organizing committee member. The charges against Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, a major figure in Japan’s movie and entertainment industry, are the latest in the unfolding corruption scandal related to last year’s Tokyo Summer Games. Kadokawa was arrested […]
1 day ago
Serbia's coach Marina Malkovic, right, talks with a referee during their game against Mali at the w...
Associated Press

Women to get more rest between hoop games at next World Cup

SYDNEY (AP) — Players at this year’s World Cup had a few concerns about the competition, including the compact schedule and the timing of the tournament, and the women took their complaints right to the top. FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis talked with many of the players during the course of the recently competed tournament. […]
1 day ago
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) misses a catch during the first half of an NFL fo...
Associated Press

Analysis: NFL isn’t passing the eye test on head injuries

What happened in Tampa was the last thing the NFL, its players and its fanbase needed three days after Tua Tagovailoa’s horrifying head injury called into question the league’s commitment to curbing concussions. Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate sat out the second half of Sunday night’s 41-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with a […]
1 day ago
Wander Franco drives in 3 as Rays beat Blue Jays 10-5