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Rays keep swinging hot bats, beat Blue Jays in nightcap

Two homers by Francisco Mejia and another by Isaac Paredes stake Tampa Bay to a big early lead.
Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen made his first start Saturday night in Toronto since being sidelined by a left hamstring strain.
Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen made his first start Saturday night in Toronto since being sidelined by a left hamstring strain. [ JON BLACKER | AP ]
Published Jul. 3|Updated Jul. 3

TORONTO — What started as an encouraging show of offense in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays turned into a barrage in the nightcap as the Rays rolled to an 11-5 win and a sweep.

They rapped 14 hits overall, one more than in the opening 6-2 win, including three home runs — two from catcher Francisco Mejia, and a three-run shot by Isaac Paredes, who also went deep in the opener, and now has a team-high 13. Paredes was a triple short of the cycle in the night cap. Harold Ramirez also had three hits.

The 11 runs were the Rays’ most since also scoring 11 on June 8 against St. Louis and surpassed the total from their previous four losses.

The Rays had a 10-1 lead, chasing Jays starter Thomas Hatch in the fifth, before the Jays did much.

Drew Rasmussen returned from the injured list, last starting June 10 before being sidelined by a left hamstring strain, and worked into the fifth. He allowed two runs on five hits, but was lifted after his second walk of the night, thus one out short of qualifying for the win. Reliever Dusten Knight allowed three runs.

The win improved the Rays to 42-36.

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