ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Austin Meadows drove in his third run on a tiebreaking RBI infield single during a two-run eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays won for the 14th time in 15 games, 5-3 over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
Randy Arozarena had a leadoff infield single in the eighth and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Sam Coonrod (0-2). After Yandy Díaz was intentionally walked with one out, Meadows made it 4-3 with his hit off José Alvarado.
“Randy going first to third right there, his awareness was really huge,” Meadows said. “We were able to just put the ball in play.”
Tampa Bay took a two-run lead when Alvarado walked pinch-hitter Mike Brosseau with the bases load.
Arozarena was first called out, but that was changed after a video review. Alvarado came off the mound but couldn’t cleanly field Meadows’ high-chopper.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Alvarado had no chance either way of getting an out at the plate.
“We got beat by two infield hits, it’s frustrating,” Girardi said.
Diego Castillo (2-2) worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth for the Rays, who have won three in a row after Kansas City stopped their 11-game winning streak on Tuesday. J.P. Feyereisen worked the ninth to get his second save.
“Just a tremendous mindset going right now,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “The amount of wins that we’ve kind of racked up here of late certainly helps that. They are feeding all each other.”
Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler gave up three runs, four hits, two walks and struck out a career-high 14 over seven innings. The right-hander made six starts in May, going 2-0 with 57 strikeouts, five walks and allowing 11 runs in 43 1/3 innings.
The Phillies are 3-7 over their last 10 games.
“We’ve a good team,” Wheeler said. “We just have to remember that. It sounds simple, right, you’ve just got to keep your head up. We know what we’re capable of. We haven’t been playing the way that we should.”
Phillies right fielder Roman Quinn left the game in the fifth inning with a left Achilles tendon injury. He stumbled and fell rounding third on Ronald Torreyes’ two-run double, got up and soon after had to hop home on his right leg. Quinn ruptured his right Achilles tendon during an offseason workout in 2013.
“I don’t expect to get any good news from the MRI,” Girardi said. “We’re pretty sure it’s not good.”
Matt Joyce, who replaced Quinn, tied it at 3 on a seventh-inning solo homer off Jeffrey Springs. He had been hitless in his previous 28 at-bats.
Tampa Bay struck out 16 times and Philadelphia punched out 15 times. The Rays have struck out a major league-most 565 times, and the Phillies are at 528.
Wheeler uncharacteristically issued consecutive walks to Yandy Díaz and Meadows with two outs in the sixth before Ji-Man Choi put the Rays up 3-2 on a single.
Torreyes ended Ryan Yarbrough’s day with a fifth-inning hit that tied it at 2.
Yarbrough, winless in his last 24 starts since Aug 17, 2019, gave up two runs, three hits, two walks and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings. The lefty, who often follows an opener, is 25-5 as a reliever.
Meadows hit a two-run homer in the first. He homered and drove in four runs in the Rays’ 7-2 win over Kansas City on Thursday night. He has 26 RBIs in his last 23 games.
Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after being out with a left hand contusion and went 0 for 3 with a walk and stolen base.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer feels the tendinitis in his right forearm is gone and now it is a matter of building arm strength. There is no date for his return but Archer would be pleased if it occurs in early July.
Phillies RHP Zach Eflin (2-4) will be the start in the finale of the two-game series on Sunday. LHP Josh Fleming (4-3) could follow opener RHP Collin McHugh (0-1) for Tampa Bay.
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