WASHINGTON (AP) — Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez each had two hits including a home run, and the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Wednesday.
The Rays improved to 6-0 and extended the best start in franchise history. They are off to the best start of any team since Baltimore opened 7-0 in 2016.
Taylor Walls and Randy Arozarena had two hits each for Tampa Bay, which has outscored opponents 44-13.
Shane McClanahan (2-0) allowed two runs on five hits and four walks over six innings, allowing at least one baserunner in every inning but the sixth. He struck out six.
Victor Robles had two hits for the Nationals, who have lost five of their first six games.
Washington starter Patrick Corbin (0-2) gave up six runs on 10 hits over six innings.
The Rays broke open a close game in the sixth. Corbin had retired 11 in a row before Ramirez lined a homer to center with two outs. Manuel Margot then singled, stole second and scored when centerfielder Robles lost Walls fly ball in the sun for a double. Walls scored on a single by Jose Siri to make it 6-2.
The Rays took a 3-1 lead in the third when Yandy Diaz singled and Franco followed with a line-drive homer into the Rays bullpen in left center.
A single by Michael Chavis scored Joey Meneses to make it 3-2 in the fourth. Washington then loaded the bases with no outs, but McClanahan retired Robles on a short fly to right, and struck out CJ Abrams and Lane Thomas.
Rays: RHP Zach Eflin (1-0, 1.80), who allowed one run over five innings in his Rays debut, pitches the opener of a three-game series against visiting Oakland on Friday.
Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (0-1, 9.00), who gave up five runs against the Braves on Saturday, pitches the opener of a four-game series at Colorado.