Taj Bradley (11 K’s), Rays blank Nats to earn series win

Taj Bradley kept rolling with his strong June pitching, Isaac Paredes finished a single shy of the cycle and the Tampa Bay Rays earned a fourth straight series win, 5-0, over the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Bradley (3-4) struck out 11 and allowed just three hits over 5 2/3 innings, while walking two over 99 pitches.

Across his past five starts (29 innings), the 23-year-old right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA, striking out 40 and allowing just 18 hits.

Relievers Colin Poche, Jason Adam, Garrett Cleavinger and Phil Maton held Washington hitless and closed out the staff’s third shutout.

Paredes went 3-for-4 with a homer, triple and double to go with two runs. He flied out to center in the eighth in his attempt at the cycle.

Randy Arozarena was 2-for-4 with a solo shot and Jose Caballero had a two-run homer and a walk.

CJ Abrams had a hit, two walks and a stolen base, but the Nationals only produced three hits and fell to 1-5 in their last six games.

Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin (1-8) surrendered four runs on eight hits in six innings. The left-hander fanned five, walked one and lost his fifth straight decision.

As he did in his previous start against the Seattle Mariners, Bradley overwhelmed the visitors early by striking out five in the first two innings. He got Ildemaro Vargas flailing on a 92-mph splitter to fan the side in the second.

Cleanup hitter Paredes added to the excitement leading off the second by drilling the first offering from Corbin, a 90 mph sinker, a Statcast-estimated 415 feet to left-center field for his 13th deep ball.

Following a single by Jonny DeLuca, Caballero continued the power show by ripping a belt-high sinker 371 feet to left for a 3-0 lead, his fifth homer in his first season with the Rays.

Paredes kept at it against Corbin in the fourth by bashing an 0-2 pitch off the wall in left-center, his first three-bagger of 2024. Jose Siri’s sacrifice fly in the next at-bat pushed it to 4-0.

Arozarena stroked a 422-foot home run to left in the seventh, his 11th of the season.

Former Rays player Harold Ramirez had a chance to cut into the lead in the eighth, but Cleavinger got him swinging with two runners on base and two outs to cap Washington’s final threat.

–Field Level Media