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Wander Franco has 3 hits, Rays win season opener

Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays
Chris O'Meara/AP
The Tampa Bay Rays will no longer require masks for those who are fully vaccinated, while announcing it is increasing the capacity at Tropicana Field in June to 20,000 fans.

Budding star Wander Franco had three hits, Francisco Mejía snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly and the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in their season opener.

Franco started the winning rally with a single to right off reliever Dillon Tate. It was the 21-year-old’s first game since signing a $182 million, 11-year contract in the offseason. He batted .288 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 70 games as a rookie.

Pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi drew a walk and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Randy Arozarena beat out an infield single to load the bases against
right-hander Jorge Lopez.