Cooper Criswell earned his first major league victory, Yandy Diaz homered and drove in two runs, and Major League Baseball’s top Tampa Bay Rays beat the league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3 on Friday. Western Division of the National League.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay in six games in the 2020 World Series.
Criswell (1-1) replaced starter Jalen Beeks with two outs in the second and allowed one run, four hits and three walks in four innings. The 26-year-old right-hander got out of trouble in his three complete innings, inducing two doubleheaders.
“It feels good,” Criswell said. “Thanks to the teammates. Good game overall for us.”
In all, eight Rays pitchers allowed nine hits and six walks and held Los Angeles to 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
“They did a good job … They needed it,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “They kept putting guys on the base. I felt that when we needed a big pitch to be made, it seemed to happen quite often.”
Diaz, who had been out of the lineup for a couple of days attending to a family matter, gave the Rays a 6-2 lead with a 100.1 mph solo homer in the fourth off Noah Syndergaard (1-4). He had a 109.8 mph one-two to start the first.
“He always has a good at-bat,” Cash said. “It’s always a productive at-bat. He has a knack for hitting the ball hard.”
Diaz is hitting .333 with 12 home runs, 29 RBIs, 37 runs scored and a .435 on-base percentage.
Syndergaard allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings.
“There’s not a lot of positive emotion right now when I think about pitching in particular,” Syndergaard said. “It’s just hard to go out with the guns you used to have and they were taken away. Just keep working between starts to get out of this.”
Jose Siri added a two-run homer in the eighth for the Rays (38-15), who lead the majors with 99 homers. Tampa Bay is 25-5 at home.
Dodgers slugger Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 15 games after going 2 for 4 with a walk. He’s hitting .433 (26-for-60) down the stretch. He was struck out by Jason Adam to finish the eighth with two on and Los Angeles trailing 7-3.
The Rays won 5–2 in the third when Taylor Walls singled with two out, stole second and third on back-to-back pitches, and scored on Christian Bethancourt’s single.
Tampa Bay stole four bases, one day after grabbing seven in a 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles’ JD Martinez had his 16th RBI in his last 13 games and brought his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the third inning.
Chris Taylor, who pinch-hit for the Dodgers in the sixth, made a jumping catch toward the left-field wall to clear a probable extra-base hit from Luke Raley in the bottom of the inning. He also made a nice run catch on pinch hitter Harold Ramirez to start an inning-ending double play in the seventh and hit an RBI double in the eighth.
Retired reliever Jake McGee threw a ceremonial first pitch halfway home. He appeared in a Tampa Bay record 297 games between 2010 and 2015.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-4) and Tampa Bay LHP Tyler Glasnow (0-0) are Saturday’s starters. Kershaw beat Glasnow twice in the 2020 World Series. Glasnow (left oblique strain) is making his season debut.