Skip to main content

Isaac Paredes Hits 2 Homers Against Former Team, Leads Rays to 6-1 Win Over Tigers

The Detroit Tigers discarded Isaac Paredes in the Austin Meadows trade in early April, and he made them pay for that on Wednesday, hitting two home runs to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat his former team 6-1. The Rays have now won seven of their last nine series and are a season-high eight games over .500.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Even in Spanish, the politeness was shining through for Tampa Bay third baseman Isaac Paredes, who hit two home runs against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, on Wednesday. A sly smile or two maybe, but no mean words for sure.

The viciousness? He saved that for his bat.

Paredes, given up on by Detroit as part of the Austin Meadows trade on April 4, came back to haunt his former team with two home runs in the Rays' 6-1 win at Tropicana Field. He played in 57 games for the Tigers as a part-time player in 2020 and 2021, and had two career homers in 172 at-bats.

He hit two homers in four at-bats Wednesday, helping the Rays win the series and go to eight games over .500 on the season at 23-15, tying its high-water mark for the season.

"He had a big day, and that's got to feel good because he knows a lot of the guys over there,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Paredes. "It was funny today before the game, (hitting coach Chad Mottola) said that he had a really good work day in the cage and there was some aggressive intent behind his swing.  He took it out to the ballgame, and that was awesome to see.''

Paredes was called up from Durham for the second time on Monday when second baseman Brandon Lowe went on the injured list with a back injury. The Rays have no concern about covering Lowe's absence defensively, but they were worried about replacing his power production. After all, Lowe hit 39 homers a year ago and despite dealing with the back issue and a slow start, he still leads the team in homers this year with five.

The 23-year-old Paredes eased those concerns quickly on Wednesday, as did outfielders Kevin Kiermaier, Brett Phillips and Randy Arozarena on Tuesday, when they all homered, only the fifth time in team history that all three outfielders had homered in the game. Phillips had one Monday night, too, so the Rays have hit six homers since Lowe went on the IL. 

"I'm really grateful for the opportunity they were able to give me. I was able to live out my dream and make it to the big leagues,'' Paredes said of his time in Detroit. "But now I need to take advantage of my opportunities here. 

"I want to beat them when we play against them, but I'm just giving 100 percent and I'm just happy to be here. When I went in the cage today, I told them I felt good and was ready to hit.''

WATCH: Isaac Paredes' first home run

WATCH: Isaac Paredes' second home run

The Rays, who came into this series struggling to score runs, got off to another good start, scoring three runs in the first inning off of Detroit starter Eduardo Rodriguez, someone they've seen often as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox from 2015-21.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

They opened the inning with three straight singles from Yandy Diaz, Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez, and then Randy Arozarena walked to force in a run. Catcher Francisco Mejia followed with another single, scoring two runs. Rodriguez left two batters later.

Paredes took it from there. His homer in the third made it 4-0. Spencer Torkelson accounted for the Tigers' only run with a homer off of Matt Wisler in the seventh inning, but the Rays scored again in the bottom of the inning on a Ji-Man Choi single, which drove in Brett Phillips, who had led off the inning with a single to deep right. Paredes ended the scoring with his eighth-inning homer. His two dingers traveled 411 and 404 feet respectively.

All the run support was great for starter Drew Rasmussen, who was brilliant once again. He pitched five scoreless innings on Wednesday, allowing just four hits with no walks. He's pitched 26 2/3 innings in his last five starts and allowed only three earned runs total, for a 1.01 ERA. 

"I thought the cutter was really good out of the gate. He's got three balls that are spinning away from righties, and that presents its challenges. It's a constant different look,'' Cash said of Rasmussen. The Rays are 7-1 in his eight starts this season. "At the end of the day, all the stats that are compiled now, pitchers are going out there being intent on helping us win games, and he's been doing that.''

Rasmussen had 20 swing-and-misses on the day.

"I felt really good, and I'm going to continue to reiterate it. The no walks is what we're going for,'' Rasmussen said. "When we can keep them from getting free 90s, I like our chances. Execution was really good, and we're really happy with where the sliders and the fastballs are.

"Getting runs early really lets you settle down and fill up the strike zone, especially after I threw so many pitches (23) in the first inning. My goal was to get back in my pitch count after the first, and I was able to do that.''

Rasmussen threw 87 pitches in five innings. After Wisler gave up that homer, the bullpen locked things up, getting the final seven outs in order. Colin Poche pitched a perfect eighth, as did J.P. Feyereisen in the ninth. Feyereisen has now pitched 18 1/3 scoreless innings this year, and hasn't allowed a single run and only three hits. (SEE STORY BELOW)

The Rays are off on Thursday, and then start a three-game road series on Baltimore on Friday. They'll play night games on Friday and Saturday, and a day game Sunday before coming back home. Jalen Beeks is going to be the opener on Friday, with Ryan Yarbrough likely to get bulk innings afterward.

  • 'PERFECT' FEYEREISEN IN SELECT COMPANY: Tampa Bay reliever J.P.  Feyereisen is one of just six pitchers in all of baseball that hasn't allowed and earned run this year (minimum 10 innings). Here's his story and the complete list. CLICK HERE
  • JUST FOR STARTERS: Drew Rasmussen threw five scoreless innings for Tampa Bay on Wednesday in his fifth-straight strong start. He allowed only four hits. Here's our ''Just For Starters'' story, with a breakdown of Rasmussen's day, and the cumulative totals for the Rays' starting rotation. CLICK HERE
  • LOWE OUT WITH BACK INJURY: The Tampa Bay Rays will be without second baseman Brandon Lowe into June because of a low back stress reaction. He's going to step away from all baseball activities for three weeks and will be re-evaluated then. Others will have to step up. CLICK HERE
  • RAYS GET HOMER HAPPY (Tues.): Tampa Bay outfielders Kevin Kiermaier, Brett Phillips and Randy Arozarena all homered and Shane McClanahan was special on the mound once again in the Rays' 8-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night. The outfielders were a combined 5-for-10 with six RBIs. CLICK HERE
  • TOM BREW COLUMN: It takes a village to get things done sometimes, and that's been the case with Rays outfielder, who's worked hard at revamping his swing and seems to be breaking out of his slump. CLICK HERE
  • TIGERS TOP RAYS IN OPENER: Tampa Bay's hitters keep forcing their pitching staff to be perfect, but a few mistakes on Monday night cost the Rays in a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers. They won it in the ninth inning on a Harold Castro home run off of Rays closer Andrew Kittredge to take the series opener. CLICK HERE
  • SHORT MEMORY FOR KITTREDGE: Despite the fact that he blew two saves earlier in the week, Tampa Bay reliever Andrew Kittredge was terrific this weekend against Toronto, picking up a win and a save and pitching great in stressful situations. Quickly forgetting past results, good or bad, is the key for the veteran closer. CLICK HERE
  • RAYS SCHEDULE: Here is the complete 2022 Tampa Bay Rays schedule, with results so far plus dates, gametimes and locations for the rest of the games on their schedule. CLICK HERE