Arozarena shines against old team, Rays beat Cardinals 11-3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Randy Arozarena had three hits and four RBIs against his original team to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-3 on Wednesday night.

Arozarena, the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year, was a St. Louis prospect with 19 games of major league experience when he was obtained from the Cardinals in a January 2020 trade. He had an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run single in the seventh to pace an 18-hit outburst for the Rays.

Veteran catcher Yadier Molina pitched a scoreless eighth for St. Louis, entering to cheers from red-clad Cardinals fans in a crowd of 12,906. He received a standing ovation when he struck out pinch-hitter Isaac Paredes.

Vidal Bruján had three RBIs, and Ji-Man Choi and Harold Ramírez drove in two runs apiece for Tampa Bay.

Corey Kluber (3-2) shut down the Cardinals for five innings before fading quickly in the sixth. St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles, including Paul Goldschmidt’s hit through the middle that extended the slugger’s career-best on-base streak to 44 games.

Tyler O’Neill, who had a solo homer off Kluber in the fourth, chased the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner with a two-run single that trimmed the Cardinals’ deficit to 5-3.

The Rays escaped further damage, with reliever Jason Adam getting Brendan Donovan to ground into a double play and Juan Yepez to fly out at the wall in left field.

Choi, Arozarena and Bruján had RBI doubles in the first off left-hander Packy Naughton (0-2). Ramírez doubled off reliever Johan Oviedo in the second, driving in the final run charged to the Cardinals starter.

Naughton pitched one time through Tampa Bay’s lineup, allowing four runs and five hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Kluber, meanwhile, yielded three runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He walked one and struck out five.

INTERLEAGUE SUCCESS

The Rays improved to 6-1 in interleague games this year. They are a major league-best 21-6 since the start of last season, including 13-1 at home.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Nolan Arenado was not in the lineup after being hit by a pitch in the right knee during the 10th inning of Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss to the Rays. The Gold Glove third baseman said he expects to play Thursday.

Rays: RHP Shane Baz, who had arthroscopic elbow surgery in March, has been penciled in to make his season debut Saturday at Minnesota.

UP NEXT

The finale of a three-game series, with lefty Shane McClanahan (6-2, 2.10 ERA) starting for the Rays. The Cardinals had not announced a starting pitcher.

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