Arozarena delivers another walk-off win

by Gary Shelton on August 13, 2023

in general

Arozarena measured up to another moment./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Maybe Randy Arozarena wasn't really in a slump. Maybe the moments just weren't big enough for him.

The Grand Poser, Arozarena, allowed the Rays to win their second straight game by walk-off Saturday afternoon. Arozarena singled to right field to drive in Brandon Lowe for the win, the third walk-off hit he has had (of six team walk-off wins) this season.

That capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning to allow the Rays to beat Cleveland 6-5.

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Arozarena seems to live for such moments. Sure, he hit just .153 in July and .242 in August. But when the count went to 0-2 against Cleveland reliever Emmanuel Clase, he seemed to take over the moment.

Arozarena had a walk-off single to win against the White Sox on April 22 and a walk-off homer on June 7 against Minnesota. No other major league player has more than three.

The ninth inning rally had several heroes. Josh Lowe singled to start the inning, then had second base stolen as Christian Bethancourt grounded out, avoiding the force-out at second. He scored when Yandy Diaz had a double to center. Diaz took third on a wild pitch, then scored on Brandon Lowe's infield single. Lowe stole second, then scored when Arozarena doubled off the glove of a diving Ramon Laureano.

Until the ninth, the Rays had looked very much like a team that had run out of pitchers. Erasmo Ramirez gave up three runs and Josh Fleming gave up two.

At one point, it was 5-2 in Cleveland's favor.

But once the Rays got starter Gavin Williams out of the game, they came back oagainst the Guardians' bullpen.

Luke Raley had a double and a home run for Rays. Yandy Diaz had three hits to bring his AL-leading batting average to .323. Brandon Lowe had two hits. It was Raley's first home run since July 5.

The Rays close out their series against Cleveland today. Zack Eflin will start for the Rays against Tanner Bibee.

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