Arozarena Homers In Ninth, DeLuca Delivers Walk-Off Triple In 10th, Rays Sweep Mets With 7-6 Victory

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Arozarena Homers In 7-6 Victory Over Mets
Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena connects for a solo home run off New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 5, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Catching for the Mets is Tomas Nido. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

St. Petersburg, FL – Johnny DeLuca tripled past a diving Harrison Bader scoring both Jose Caballeros and Ben Rortvedt to give the Rays a well earned 7-6 walk-off victory to complete the weekend sweep of the New York Mets.

DeLuca’s walk-off triple was the fifth walk-off triple in Rays history and first since Kevin Kiermaier on July 26, 2020 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 6.48 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who improve to 16-17 on the season. It marks the Rays first three game sweep of the season and its first three-game sweep since August 22 through 24, 2023 versus the Colorado Rockies. It also was the Rays third consecutive victory, their longest win streak of the season.

Former Rays reliever Jake Diekman (1-1, 4.22 ERA) takes the loss for the Mets who fall to 16-18 on the season. It was the second time this season the Mets have been swept in a three game series, it’s the first time they’ve suffered a sweep on the road since September 20-24, 2023 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets were well positioned to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. Edwin Diaz was on to protect the lead and had retired the first two batters and had two-strikes on Randy Arozarena. Arozarena surprised the 19,310 fans in attendance by delivering a game-tying homer. It was Arozarena’s fifth on the year and snapped a string of 26 consecutive converted saves by Diaz.

The Mets scored the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth after replay review of Brandon Nimmo‘s infield ground ball dislodged in first baseman Yandy Diaz‘s glove. On the play Harrison Bader scored from third.

The Mets scored the games first runs when Francisco Lindor blasted a 2-run homer off Rays starter Ryan Pepiot in the top of the first. It was Lindor’s sixth homer of the season and sixth in his career against the Rays.

Ryan Pepiot started for Tampa Bay but had to depart in the third inning after he was struck by a 107-mph line drive off the bat of Starling Marte. He tried to stay in the game and made two warmup pitches before Manager Kevin Cash took the ball and removed him from the contest. As of now, it seems like an injury disaster has been avoided as x-rays came back negative and Pepiot is considered day-to-day.

Jose Caballero stole four bases and scored three times after the theft. All told, Tampa Bay stole seven bases, their most since stealing seven on May 25, 2023 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Caballero led the way with his four swipes and Randy Arozarena, Richie Palacios, and Amed Rosario each added one.

Jose Siri‘s questionable and surprising sub-par performance impacted the Rays negatively once again. Harrison Bader sent a lazy fly ball to shallow center. leading off the top of the fourth inning. Siri raced in and had the ball clank off his glove for an error. The Mets delivered four singles scoring a pair of runs to regain a 5-4 lead. Kevin Kelly avoided further damage in the inning by inducing an inning ending double play ball off the bat of Pete Alonso with the bases loaded.

Baserunning gaffe short circuits Rays attempt at comeback in eight. Johnny DeLuca walked to leadoff the bottom of the eighth, but was doubled off first base on a fly out to right off the bat of Harold Ramirez.

Edwin Diaz, making his first appearance, was one strike away from closing the game out but Randy Arozarena delivered a game tying homer knotting the game at 5-5.

Up Next For Rays:

The Tampa Bay Rays play host to the Chicago White Sox starting Monday evening at 6:50 p.m. Tyler Alexander (1-1, 5.02 ERA) is slated to start or work bulk innings in relief of an opener.