May 8, 2019 / 2:55 AM / 19 days ago

Rays open with Lowe's homer, stop D-backs

EditorsNote: Clarifies run-scoring fielder’s choice as being hit by Lowe and nobody getting out on the play; fixes spacing issues; other minor edits

May 7, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays opening pitcher Ryne Stanek (55) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Lowe hit a first-pitch home run and drove in two runs and Tampa Bay rode a three-run seventh inning to a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Arizona right-hander Taylor Clarke (0-1), a 25-year-old rookie making his second appearance and first start, pitched six strong innings after Lowe drove his first pitch of the game — a 92-mph fastball down the middle — over the center field fence.

Lowe went 2 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Right-hander Ryne Stanek opened the game for Tampa Bay, throwing two scoreless innings while giving up one hits and striking out four. Left-hander Jalen Beeks (2-0) followed with 3 1/3 innings to get the win. He gave up three hits and one run, striking out three and walking none.

Clarke gave up two runs and seven hits, striking out two and walking none.

Tampa Bay broke open a 2-1 game with three runs in the seventh off reliever Yoshihisa Hirano.

Mike Zunino hit an RBI double into the right field corner with one out. Willy Adames scored from third on Lowe’s fielder’s choice in which no out was recorded, and Ji-Man Choi drove in Zunino with a single. Zunino, who was a late addition to the lineup at catcher after Michael Perez (oblique) was scratched, added an RBI single in the eighth.

Emilio Pagan, the fifth Tampa Bay pitcher, struck out the side in the eighth on 13 pitches. Adam Kolarek pitched the ninth, giving up solo home runs to Wilmer Flores and Carson Kelly.

Tampa Bay has won the first two games of the three-game series, which concludes Wednesday afternoon.

Arizona tied the score at 1 in the fourth. Adam Jones led off with a single and was still on first after Beeks struck out the next two. Nick Ahmed then hit an RBI double off the wall in right-center field.

The Rays regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Daniel Robertson hit into a run-scoring double play as Yandy Diaz, who led off with a double, scored from third.

Arizona threatened in the seventh with runners on first and second with one out. Diaz, playing first base, snagged a liner from Ketel Marte that was otherwise headed for the right field corner, and Eduardo Escobar grounded out to second to end the inning.

—Field Level Media

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