Lowe shows he can still drive in runs in Rays’ win

by Gary Shelton on September 7, 2020

in general

Lowe drove in the winning run./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

For Brandon Lowe, the fall has been agonizing. One day, he was among the finest players in the American League. The next, he wasn't.

For 24 straight at bats, he had been hitless. For three weeks, he had seen his average slip from .338 to .250. It had been seven days since he hit a home run, seven since he had driven in a run.

But in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday, Lowe drove a fly ball deep to center field that scored pinch-runner Brett Phillips from third and provide his Rays team with yet another comeback victory in a 5-4, 10-inning decision.

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"It was nice go out there and have a good at-bat for the team," Lowe said. “I was understanding what the big guy on the mound had. I had to tell myself to calm down and get a pitch elevated. Put anything in play. Calm myself down and  put a barrel on it.”

The Rays, who now have 15 comebacks on the year (more than half of their 28 total victories), lead the AL West by 5 1/2 games.

"It was big," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "He had a tremendous at-bat. I think it was an off-speed pitch that he got the barrel on."

The Rays trailed most of the game until scoring twice in the bottom of the 10th inning. Ji-Man Choi had the tying RBI when he doubled in Joey Wrndle.

For the Rays, it was the biggest game of the year for rookie Randy Arozarena, who hit two solo homers and had a three-hit afternoon. The team's decision to trade Jose Martinez was largely about finding room for Arozarena.

"He's certainly a talented player," Cash said. "We're getting to know him on the fly, and the first impression is that there is a lot to like. He has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball."

Said Lowe: "It’s awesome watching (Arozarena) go out there. He never looks like he gets fooled. He goes out there and has big at-bats every time.”

The Rays are 8-0-2 in their last 10 series.

Rays' pitcher Tyler Glasnow was not as sharp as he had been. He suffered from migraine symptoms in the first inning and gave up two runs.

"He was a little out of sorts," Cash said. "He couldn't find his rhythm. In fairness to Tyler, I don't think it's fair to any pitcher to expect him to go out and dominate every five days."

The Rays now travel to Washington for a two-game series. In tonight's 6:05 game, Charlie Morton will start again Max Scherzer.

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