ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Osleivis Basabe hit a grand slam for his first major league homer, capping off a nine-run eighth inning for the AL wild card-leading Tampa Bay Rays, who beat the Colorado Rockies 12-4 on Tuesday night.
Basabe is filling at shortstop for Wander Franco, who is on MLB’s administrative list while authorities in the Dominican Republic investigate him for an alleged relationship with a minor.
After the Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against Brent Suter (4-1), pinch-hitter Christian Bethancourt delivered an RBI single to tie it before Yandy Díaz made it 5-4 on his run-scoring base hit. Díaz went 3 for 5 in his career-best fifth straight multi-hit game, raising his AL-leading average to .328.
Randy Arozarena added a two-run single off Daniel Bard that went off left fielder Nolan Jones' glove, and Isaac Paredes drove in a run with a double. Bard then hit Jose Siri with a pitch to load the bases and bring up Basabe, who took him deep to left field to put the Rays ahead by eight.
Andrew Kittredge (1-0) worked a scoreless eighth to get his win since returning from Tommy John surgery this month.
NL-worst Colorado has lost nine of 12.
Díaz put the Rays up 3-2 on his run-scoring single off Ty Blach in the fourth.
Elias Díaz ended Zack Littell's night with a game-tying sixth-inning RBI single. Colorado then went ahead 4-3 when Brendan Rodgers scored from third when reliever Colin Poche threw a wild pitch on his first pitch.
Jones got his first career triple on an opposite-field 170-foot flare down the left-field line and scored on Jurickson Profar's sacrifice fly before Michael Toglia hit a solo homer as the Rockies took a 2-1 lead in the second.
Blach allowed three runs and seven hits over four-plus innings. Littell gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Colorado RF Charlie Blackmon doubled in the first and has a hit in seven consecutive games since returning from a right-hand injury that sidelined him for just over two months.
Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (9-9) and Rays RHP Aaron Civale (6-3) are Wednesday night’s starters.