Big fourth inning leads Rays to a comeback win

by Gary Shelton on September 24, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Poche reacts to earning the save./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

For all the highs and lows, the zigs and the zags, the ups and the downs, the comebacks and the walk-offs, you have to admit this about the American League Wild-Card Race.

You know, it's  kind of fun.

The Tampa Bay Rays were interesting for another day Monday, coming from four runs down to beat the Boston Red Sox, 7-4, at Tropicana Field. After not getting a hit for three innings, the Rays exploded for six runs and three homers (Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adams) to fuel their way to the win.

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Choi circles the bases after his 17th homer./JERRY S. KING

"Meadows. d’Arnaud. Ji-Man comes up with the big 3-run homer and gets us back in the game," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Then B. Lowe. I think he got irritated with how far McKay’s ball went yesterday so he wanted to prove to him that he still had more power and then Willy has come up huge for us this homestand. Big hit after big hit. That was awesome. That was maybe the most exciting inning of the year.”

The Rays' pitching also struggled early. Starter Blake Snell got only four batters out, and the Rays fell behind 4-0 and looked to be against the ropes.

Snell was upset with his short outing./JEFFREY S. KING

“I thought Blake, he looked uncomfortable," Cash said."He couldn’t get his timing on the mound right. He looked a little uncertain with what he was trying to accomplish. Some uncharacteristic things. You go back and look at some of the walks. Guys we walk to get to guys in the middle of their lineup, that’s not an ideal way. You aren’t going to have a lot of success that way.”

But the Rays got five of their eight hits in the bottom of the fourth, including a three-run shot by Choi to make it close, a solo shot by Lowe to tie it up and a two-run shot by Adames for the lead.

“You saw it yourself, it was crazy," Adames said. "(Austin) Meadows started it with ending the no-hitter, nobody had a hit before that. He just got us going

Adames points to the stands after his 20th homer./JEFFREY S. KING

and everybody after that stepped up and did what they had to do to get on base and try to score as many runs as we could with the opportunities they gave us.

“(His 20th homer) means a lot. I’m happy how everything has turned out. It makes me happy that I’m helping the team win. That’s the most important thing. If we win, I’m happy, and even more if I help the team win. We’re right there with Cleveland and Oakland. We have to keep winning, we have to win. That’s the mentality we have right now if we want to make the postseason. We have to win, you don’t make the postseason losing.”

Kiermaier is hit by a pitch./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays used nine pitchers, and the last five of them threw shutout baseball.  Colin Poche came on to strike out two hitters to earn his second save.

“It was awesome," Poche said. "At this point of the year, whatever you can do to get the win is big. I was glad that I was able to do my part because everybody certainly did theirs.”

Poche said the early deficit didn't bother the Rays.

“When that happens, we don’t really stress about it because we know
our offense is good and we know it’s only a matter of time before we string hits together like that. It was kind of just ‘okay, we are down. We’ve done it bunch this week so here we go again. Let’s do it again.’’

Drake made his 47th appearance, throwing two scoreless innings./JEFFREY S. KING

Blake Snell didn't care much for his outing.

“It felt okay," Snell said. "Good enough to not be walking three people — that’s pretty bad. ...it’s pretty frustrating. Frustrating today, but the good thing about a frustrating outing is that there is a lot to learn, a lot to grow from, a lot to understand how I felt and how I’m going to change for the next time out. It’s always tough when you have a really good start and you have a lot to work with going forward on that and then you feel like you put the work in to be ready to do it again and you walk three guys and are in full counts — it’s just bad. Really frustrating, but the guys picked me up. On that note, it was pretty exciting to see these guys do what they always do.”

Choi and Meadows each had two hits.

Cash keeps seeing his team come from behind./JEFFREY S. KING

The win pulls the Rays within a game and a half of Oakland and a half-game ahead of Cleveland. Both the As and Indians had the night off.

The Rays have trailed in their last seven games and in 13 of their last 14, but they've come back to go 9-5 in those games. The Rays have scored 5 runs (or more) in 17 of their last 24 games.

Lowe was injured 83 days ago, but he seems not to be missing anything. Adames had his 20th homer of the season, twice his total from a year ago.

The Rays face a two-game series against the Yankees, one of their most crucial of the years, the next two days at Tropicana Field. Tonight's game will begin at 7:10 p.m.

Lowe showed the Rays what they've been missing with his injury./JEFFREY S. KING

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