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Devil Rays 8, Jays 2: Rays rebound behind strong Civale start and B. Lowe Blast

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Rays flipped the script in game two of their opening series against the Jays.

The Tampa Bay Rays rebounded Friday night with an 8-2 victory after dropping the first game of the season on Thursday, by the same score. The Rays, donning their throwback Devil Rays uniforms, flipped the script both at the plate and on the mound thanks to a strong start by Aaron Civale and a 3rd inning grand slam by Brandon Lowe.

Aaron Civale, beginning his second season as a member of the Rays rotation, got the start opposite Jays starter, Chris Bassitt.

Civale would win the day on the bump turning in an impressive performance. The former Guardian acquired at the deadline last season tossed six innings of one run baseball, striking out six and only walking one. He surrendered four hits, one of them being a solo shot that accounted for his only earned run of the evening.

That solo blast off the bat of George Springer would get the scoring started at the Trop. The homer was his second of the year, and second in as many games. The 3rd inning homer would give the Blue Jays an early 1-0 lead.

That lead would not last for long as the Rays would answer with a blast of their own, only their long ball accounted for four runs. The newest Ray, Ben Rortvedt, started the bottom half of the third with a single. Jose Caballero subsequently reached via HBP and Yandy Diaz reached on an error to load the bases. With no outs Brandon Lowe stepped to the plate and quickly gave the Rays a 4-1 lead thanks to a no-doubt grand slam to right center field. The homer was Lowe’s first of the year and his fourth career grand slam.

The Rays wouldn't look back.

Civale tossed three more scoreless innings and the offense added a run in the 5th and 6th. In the 5th, Randy drive home Yandy Diaz with a RBI single. In the 6th, Jose Caballero collected a RBI of his own on a fielders choice. At the end of the 6th, the Rays lead stood at 6-1.

In the 8th, Yandy Diaz tallied a pair of RBIs with a 2-out single that scored Rortvedt and Caballero.

Following Civale, Chris Devenski threw a pair of scoreless innings. Jason Adam finished the game, allowing one run in the process. Civale earned the win while Chris Bassitt took the loss.

Rortvedt had a particularly impressive debut as he worked a 12 pitch walk and tallied three at-bats (2 hits) with exit velocities north of 100 mph. His framing was also impressive. Brandon Lowe is 3-8 to start the year with a home run. He has consistently made loud contact to start the year which is a good sign as he is notorious for slower starts.

Zach Littell will start on Saturday for the Rays opposite Yusei Kikuchi. Last year Kikuchi went 11-6 with a 3.86 ERA over 167.2 IP. Game starts at 4:10 ET.

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