Margot’s 10th inning single leads Rays’ rally

by Gary Shelton on April 13, 2022

in general

Margot drove home the winning run for the Rays.

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

How in the world did the Tampa Bay Rays win this one?

Their starting pitcher lasted all of five outs. They gave up three runs in the first inning, then blew a three-run lead. Their pitchers walked nine batters.

So how did they get to the point where their players were dancing around the infield, celebrating a walkoff win?

Why Manny Margot, that’s how.

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And Wander Franco. And Ji-Man Choi. And Brett Phillips. And the rest of the offense, which for a change carried the Rays. Tampa Bay somehow overcame their shortcomings Tuesday night to come from being to win a 9-8 extra inning game over the Oakland A’s.

The Rays, 4-1 on the season, fell behind 8-7 in the top of the tenth when Billy McKinney drove in Chad Pinder (who was on second with baseball’s silly ghost-runner rule). But the Rays  — who lost 12 extra-inning games a year ago — rallied in the bottom of the 10th when Wander Franco doubled in Brandon Lowe and scored on Margot’s single to left.

“I thought the third baseman had a play on it,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said.

Margot lined the first pitch he saw down the left field line to drive in Franco.

“That was the job,” Margot said. “To come out here and make a difference on this team.”

The Rays fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, similar to Monday night when they fell behind 4-0. Tommy Romero, in his first start, gave up five walks and two hits in an inning and two-thirds. He went to a  full-count on six of his first nine hitters.

The Rays rallied with a solo homer by Lowe, a three-run shot by Choi and a solo homer by Brett Phillips.

As Phillips homered, a young girl named Chloe Grimes was telling a television reporter that he was her favorite player. Phillips, who was wearing sweat bands that Grimes had given him, was emotional when told the story after the game. “That’s the hardest ball I’ve ever hit,” he said.

The Rays used six pitchers to piece together the win. Ryan Thompson got the win.

The Rays and A's play again tonight (6:40 p.m.) at Tropicana Field. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Frankie Montas.

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