Rays Move A Game Up In Wild Card With Wild Walk-Off Win
Nate Lowe stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 11th with the Rays trailing 4-3. The speedy Johnny Davis, pinch running for Travis d’Arnaud who had led off the inning with a double, was representing the tying run.
Lowe deposited a 2-0 fastball for an opposite field homer leading the Tampa Bay Rays a 5-4 win. It was the first walk-off homer in Lowe’s career and his second homer since his September 1st recall from Durham. It was the ninth time a rookie hit a walk-off homer in franchise history but the third time in the last two seasons joining Willy Adames (August 7, 2018) and Jake Bauers (June 24, 2018).
“As cliche as it sounds, there’s not a whole lot that’s better than hitting a walk-off homer in a pennant race.” Lowe said about the homer. “Being able to do it here, today, having this opportunity is great and I’m thankful for it. We get to fight again tomorrow.”
Coming back from deficits is something, especially of late, that the Rays have a knack for, “I don’t know about the guys, but for some reason in the stretch were in right now, there’s not a lead for another team that’s really safe.” Lowe said. “We have so many guys off the bench that can come in and get it done. Starters that are in there, experienced guys, and the young guys. Everyone wants to contribute somehow.”
It’s the second consecutive walk-off win for Tampa Bay, something that has only been done nine times in franchise history. It’s the second time they’ve done it this season, also on August 17 and 18th against the Detroit Tigers.
The win coupled with the Cleveland Indians 9-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies moves Tampa Bay Rays into a 1-game lead for the second wild card with seven games to play in the regular season.
Diego Castillo (5-8, 3.46 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who improve to 92-63 on the season.
Josh Smith (0-3, 5.90 ERA) takes the loss for the Red Sox who fall to 80-74 on the season.
How It Happened:
The Rays opened the scoring in the third inning on a Travis d’Arnaud RBI single scoring Austin Meadows. Joey Wendle delivered a 2-out RBI single scoring Ji-Man Choi but d’Arnaud was thrown out attempting to score cutting the Rays rally short.
Willy Adames extended the lead to 3-1 in the home half of the seventh belting a 462-foot homer off the d-ring in centerfield. It was Adames 19th homer of the season tying the franchise mark for home runs by a shortstop with Brad Miller (2016).
The game remained tied until the top of the 11th when Mitch Moreland connected for a solo homer off Diego Castillo to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. It was Moreland’s third homer in the last two games.
Travis d’Arnaud lined a double past a diving Jackie Bradley Jr. to leadoff the bottom of the 11th. He was replaced by the speedy Johnny Davis, but Nate Lowe rendered his speed useless when he lined an opposite field 2-run homer to give the Rays a 5-4 victory.
Glasnow Sharp Again:
Tyler Glasnow worked three scoreless innings on two hits while striking out seven and walking none. He threw 52 pitches with 38 for strikes including 10 swinging strikes. Since returning from the injured list, Glasnow has made three starts and pitched to a 2.25 ERA (2ER/8IP) on just five hits while striking out 17 and walking three.
Prior to the game, the Tampa Bay Rays activated Yonny Chirinos from the injured list. Chirinos went on the injured list on August 5th with a finger injury has been stretched out to 40 pitches in his second simulated game at Charlotte Sports Park on September 16th.
Lowe Close To Return:
Brandon Lowe played a game at Charlotte Sports Park on Saturday morning and is looking forward to being activated, possibly as soon as Sunday.
The Rays and Red Sox play the third game of the four game series on Sunday afternoon. Ryan Yarbrough (11-4, 3.78 ERA) will take the mound for Tampa Bay. Boston counters with former Ray Nathan Eovaldi (10-6, 6.19 ERA).