Brett Phillips Delivers In Clutch, Rays Get First Walk-Off Win Of Season

Rays End Mets Seven Game Win Streak With 3-2 Win

St. Petersburg, FL – Brett Phillips delivered a 2-out RBI walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Mets 3-2. It was the Rays first walk-off the 2021 season and Phillips’ first walk-off hit of his career.

Phillips was having a rough night prior to his walk-off moment. He had struck out three times including once with the bases loaded and another time after failing to get a sacrifice bunt down. Of course, Phillips broke the game winning hit down in simple terms. “I’m going to be honest. I was sitting on deck thinking the game was over with Joey Wendle being up to bat. Obviously I have all the faith in the world in him.” Phillips said. “As for me, [Aaron] Loup being an ex-teammate I know he’s one of the best lefties in the game. I’d put him up there regardless of what his numbers are. His stuff is nasty so I wasn’t trying to be in the batter box too long against him regardless of where the ball was going to go I was swinging early. Luckily I was able to barrel something up.”

Pete Fairbanks (1-0, 1.59 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who improve to 21-19 on the season.

Miguel Castro (0-1, 2.70 ERA) takes the loss for the Mets who fall to 18-14 and see their seven game winning streak come to an end.

Trailing for most of the night the Rays came back with a pair of runs in the eighth inning highlighted by a mammoth 450-foot solo homer off the bat of Mike Zunino cutting the lead in half and a 2-out RBI double by Manuel Margot to tie the game.

Both starters were masterful with Tyler Glasnow working eight innings and David Peterson worked 7.1-innings. Each starter was charged with a pair of earned runs but neither were involved in the decision.

Tyler Glasnow retired the first 14 hitters he faced before allowing an infield single to Kevin Pillar. Jonathan Villar followed with a 2-run homer to right to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Glasnow gave up singles to the next two hitters before retiring Jeff McNeil to end the fifth inning. The Mets were held without another hit until one out in the eighth when Jeff McNeil doubled with one out. Glasnow was up to the task and struck out Francisco Lindor and retired Michael Conforto on a groundout to first to end the threat.

Overall, Glasnow worked eight innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out ten and walking one. He made 105 pitches with 70 for strikes. He recorded 18 swinging strikes. “He was awesome, outstanding.” Kevin Cash said. “You want to find a way to get a win for him, we didn’t but we didn’t get a loss for him. You got to be pleased with that with the way Tyler’s thrown the ball tonight and every time he’s taken it has been a lot of fun to watch and certainly no different today.” “He was awesome all game long.” Cash added. “The work he did early in the game allowed him to go all eight innings.”

Tampa Bay threatened Mets starter David Peterson in the second inning loading the bases with one out but Peterson struck out both Kevin Padlo and Brett Phillips to get out of the inning unscathed. After walking Mike Zunino to load the bases in the second, Peterson retired the next 17 batters in a row before allowing a solo homer to Mike Zunino to lead off the eighth inning.

Zunino’s home run was his eighth of the season exiting the bat at 117.3 miles per hour at a launch angle of 27 degrees traveling an estimated 450 feet. It’s the third hardest hit ball in 2021 following Giancarlo Stanton (120.1 mph [single]) and Shohei Ohtani (119.0 mph [double]). It’s the hardest home run “He’s been huge. Offensively his numbers speak for themselves.” Cash said. “Defensively he’s been remarkable, he’s having a tremendous start to the season. It’s nice to see a guy that works as hard as he does get some reward.

Kevin Padlo followed Zunino with a double for his first big league hit ending an 0-for-10 skid to begin his big league career. Brett Phillips attempted to bunt Padlo to third but was unable to lay it down and struck out for the first out of the inning. Phillips was the last batter that Peterson faced on the evening.

Peterson worked 7.1-innings allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out nine and walking two. He made 93 pitches with 61 for strikes.

Trevor May replaced Peterson and retired Randy Arozarena on a line out to third for the second out before Manuel Margot doubled into the left field corner to score Padlo and tie the game at 2-2. May struck out Austin Meadows to end the inning stranding Margot at second.

Peter Fairbanks opened the ninth inning with the game tied at 2-2. With 2-out Kevin Pillar reached on an infield hit to second base and then moved into scoring position when Willy Adames booted a groundball off the bat of Jonathan Villar. Fairbanks wasn’t perturbed by the tough luck and retired James McCann on a groundball to first to keep the score tied.

Miguel Castro worked the ninth for the Mets. With one out Castro walked pinch hitter Brandon Lowe who moved to third on a Willy Adames single. The hit for Adames broke an 0-for-9 skid. Mike Zunino walked to load the bases.

Joey Wendle entered the game to pinch hit for Kevin Padlo and the Mets countered with former Rays lefty Aaron Loup to enter the game. Loup struck out Wendle for the second out but Brett Phillips came through with the walkoff single to give the Rays the victory.