Rays beat Brewers; Miller, Anderson homer in loss
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Harold Ramírez, Yandy Díaz and Christian Bethancourt homered, and the major league-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 on Saturday.
Tampa Bay leads the major’s with 90 homers and 286 runs. The Rays have allowed 160 runs.
Zach Eflin (6-1) allowed three runs, four hits and struck out eight for the Rays (34-14), who improved to 21-3 at home this season. It's the best home mark through 24 games since the 1978 Boston Red Sox also went 21-3.
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Despite the great start, the Rays hold just a 3 1/2 game lead over Baltimore (30-16) in the tough AL East.
Jason Adam entered with two on in the ninth and retired both his batters to get his sixth save.
The Brewers (24-21), tied with Pittsburgh for first in the NL Central, got homers from Owen Miller and Brian Anderson. Milwaukee has lost four of five.
Ramírez had a first-inning opposite-field solo homer to right off Eric Lauer (4-5) before Díaz connected on a three-run shot to center in the second that put the Rays up 4-0.
Miller extended his career-best hitting streak (12 games) and on-base stretch (21 games) with a leadoff shot in the third. The homer ended Milwaukee's scoring drought at 23 innings.
Anderson's two-run drive during the fourth cut deficit to 4-3, and gave the outfielder his third homer and eighth hit in 22 at-bats against Eflin.
Tampa Bay regained a three-run lead, at 6-3, and chased Lauer when Bethancourt went deep to center and Manuel Margot had an RBI single.
Lauer, who was coming off his first relief appearance of the season last Sunday, allowed six runs, six hits and three homers in three-plus innings. The lefty has given up seven long balls over 12 innings in his last three outings.
Milwaukee's rotation has been depleted by injuries, including Brandon Woodruff (right shoulder) and Wade Miley (back of shoulder muscle).
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Isaac Paredes and Taylor Walks drew bases-loaded walks from Jake Cousins that made it 8-3 in the seventh.
Milwaukee's Christian Yelich had a RBI infield single in the eighth when his pop up that went 55 feet from the plate dropped near the mound between three Rays players.
The next batter, Jesse Winker, fell behind 0-1 for a pitch clock violation and was ejected by plate umpire Adam Hamari for arguing a called third thrown by Ryan Thompson.
Almost an out
Brewers SS Willy Adames caught a pop-up by Paredes that struck a catwalk in foul grounds, which made it a dead ball. Paredes was retired when Miller, at third base, made his second of his three diving plays on grounders that ended up with an out at first. Sunday is the second anniversary of Adames' trade from Tampa Bay to Milwaukee.
Brewers 1B Luke Voit (neck) was sent to Triple-A Nashville for a rehab assignment. ... RHP J.B. Bukauskas (cervical strain) went on the 15-day injured list and RHP Colin Rea was recalled from Nashville.
Rays: 1B Díaz (groin) started after sitting out four games. He finished 3 for 4, and has a 13-game hitting streak, dating to May 3.
Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta (4-3) will start Sunday's series finale. The Rays have not announced their starter.