Isaac Paredes popped a pair of homers, starter Drew Rasmussen posted five scoreless frames and the Tampa Bay Rays surged past the Detroit Tigers 6-1 in a Wednesday matinee game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Acquired in a trade with Detroit on April 4 for Austin Meadows, Paredes went deep in the third and eighth innings for his first multi-homer game.
Over an 87-pitch outing, Rasmussen (4-1) allowed a pair of hits in the first inning but only two more over the next four innings. He whiffed seven without a walk.
Tampa Bay improved to 14-4 in the right-hander's 18 career starts.
In the Rays' series-clinching win, Francisco Mejia drove in two runs in a three-run first, and Yandy Diaz (three singles) and Harold Ramirez (two) had multi-hit games.
Stolen bases by Wander Franco and Brett Phillips boosted the team's total to 31, one behind the St. Louis Cardinals for most in the majors. The Cardinals play later Wednesday.
In his 14th career start against them, Detroit's Eduardo Rodriguez (1-3) could manage just one out in the first before being replaced by Rony Garcia. The left-hander left while being accompanied by the team trainer after surrendering three runs, four hits and two walks.
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said afterward that Rodriguez had discomfort in his left side, will undergo an MRI exam and is headed to the injured list.
Spencer Torkelson notched a homer and a double, but the Tigers were outhit 11-5 by the Rays.
Against a familiar foe in Rodriguez, a former member of the division rival Boston Red Sox, the Rays got to the Venezuelan hurler right away, with the first five batters reaching base as they batted around.
After packing the bases with three consecutive singles, Randy Arozarena produced the first run by drawing a four-pitch walk, then Mejia plated two runs with a single to left to make it 3-0.
Paredes struck the game's loudest blow in the third with his first homer for his new club. The former Tiger ripped a 411-foot shot off Garcia's four-season fastball for a 4-0 lead.
Rasmussen turned his game up a notch after allowing a leadoff double to Torkelson in the fifth. He got a groundout from Tucker Barnhart to end an 11-pitch at-bat, fanned Derek Hill on a high fastball with Torkelson on third and recorded a deep flyout by Robbie Grossman to keep the Tigers scoreless.
In the seventh, Torkelson was able to put Detroit on the board with a homer to left-center, his fourth long ball, but pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi answered with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning for Tampa Bay.
--Field Level Media