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Jun 23, 2024 4:24 pm

Yandy Diaz, Rays jump ahead early, take series from Pirates

Rays, Pirates

Yandy Diaz extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a first-pitch leadoff homer to help the visiting Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 in the rubber game on Sunday.

Reliever Kevin Kelly (2-0) allowed one walk and no hits in tossing two-thirds of the seventh inning for the Rays, who have won five of their past seven games. Pete Fairbanks was perfect in the ninth for his 11th save.

Pirates rookie starter Paul Skenes delivered another quality outing, going seven innings and allowing just one run on six hits with eight strikeouts. He’s fanned eight in three of his past four and has 61 across 46 1/3 innings in his eight appearances.

Bryan Reynolds went 2-for-3, extending his major-league-leading hitting streak to a career-best 20 games.

Colin Holderman (3-1) replaced Skenes to start the eighth. Pinch runner Jose Caballero, in for Diaz after a leadoff single, advanced to third on Lowe’s ensuing base hit and then scored on Randy Arozarena’s sacrifice fly.

Lowe, who went 3-for-4, stole second with Isaac Paredes at the plate and came home to make it a 3-1 advantage when Richie Palacios singled to left field.

The Pirates threatened in the bottom half. Pinch hitter Andrew McCutchen opened with a walk and was deemed safe at second after manager Derek Shelton successfully challenged the initial call of out at second on a double play. Reynolds followed with a two-out walk, but the pair were left stranded when Oneil Cruz grounded out.

After extending his hitting streak with a single in the first, Reynolds sent a first-pitch curveball over the Clemente Wall in right in the fourth for his third home run in the past four games and 12th overall, tying it at 1-1.

Diaz, who went 3-for-4, extended his streak right off the hop, homering off the right field pole to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. Lowe followed with a double, but Skenes retired the next two before Richie Palacios popped out to end the inning.

–Field Level Media

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