Travis d'Arnaud celebrates with teammates Yandy Diaz, Avisail Garcia, and Joey Wendle after hitting a grand slam off of Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox during the second inning Sunday at Tropicana Field. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- There hasn't been a whole lot of celebrating this week for the Tampa Bay rays, but when there has, it's been because of catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
d'Arnaud hit his first career grand slam, powering the Rays to the end of their season-long five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox to salvage ther finale of their three-game series.
The catcher got his opportunity in the bottom of the second inning, when White Sox starter Dylan Cease loaded the bases with nobody out by walking Yandy Diaz, giving up a base hit to Avisail Garcia, and walking Joey Wendle. He then took a 1-1 pitch and sent it on to the concourse beyond the seats in left for his tenth home run of the year.
That blast would be more than enough for Blake Snell, who allowed just three hits and struck out ten in six scoreless innings, improving his record to 6-7 on the year.
Andrew Kittredge would allow a pair of runs in the seventh inning on an RBI triple by Solmer Sanchez and an infield hit by Adam Engel, but the White Sox would get no closer, as Emilio pagan struck out the side in the eighth and Adam Kolarek worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Tampa Bay gains a game on the Oakland A's for the final wild card berth, sitting just one game back and even in the win column.
Tampa Bay Rays (57-45) vs. Boston Red Sox (54-46), 7:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: LHP Jalen Beeks (5-0, 2.78 ERA)
Red Sox starter: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-4, 4,34 ERA)