Lowe’s blast gives Rays another victory

by Gary Shelton on May 6, 2021

in general

Lowe had a three-run homer for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Hey, didn’t you used to Brandon Lowe?

Weren’t you the guy who was all the rage a season ago? The guy who hit 14 homers in a shortened season? The guy who was team MVP?

Yeah, the guy who hits balls like that one in the seventh inning to spark the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Lowe, who has floundered at less than a .200 average for most of the season, hit a 2-1 pitch off Junior Guerra to lead the  Rays to their fourth straight victory.

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The Rays are now 17-15 on the year.

“It’s no secret I’ve been struggling a little bit,” Lowe said. “So it felt really good to hit the ball that solid and see it fly out of the yard, especially in a big situation to give our team the lead and to give us a little breathing room.

The Rays had just one hit through the first six innings against Shohei Ohtani. But the Angels also walked eight hitters.

It didn’t pay off until the seventh, when Yandy Diaz walked, Willy Adames singled and Lowe hit his homer to dead center.

Rays’ manager Kevin Cash thought the Rays’ defense was the key to the victory.

“That’s us,” he said. “We’re  built to play really good defense behind our pitchers -- to give ourselves every opportunity  to prevent runs. When it’s like tonight when it’s  tough to get runs, the defense really shows up.  As much as anything, our defenss won the game for us.. It  kept us right there when we were down 1-0.”

The win went to Ryan Yarbrough, who scuffled a bit. In the third inning, he ran into trouble and walked in a run with the bases loaded and one out. However, he got out of the jam.

Starter Andrew Kittredge and relievers Ryan Thompson and Jeffrey Springs shut out the Angels the rest of the way. Thompson struck out Mike Trout in the seventh.

“That was huge,” Lowe said. “I didn’t know  he had that in the tank. He bumped it up a little bit. I was impressed. “

The Rays go for a four-game sweep tonight in Los Angeles. Tampa Bay will start Collin McHugh against the Angels’ Andrew Heaney..

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