Margot’s walk-off leads to extra-inning win

by Gary Shelton on May 27, 2021

in general

Glasnow had one of his sharpest games./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 3 a.m.

One more question for Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny. Why?

No, really, why?

Given all the hitters in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform, especially in the last two games when the bats have turned to matchsticks once again, why would you ever pitch to Manuel Margot? What kind of logic is that?

It was in the top of the 10th inning of the Rays-Royals game Wednesday night, and with the silly designated-runner rule in effect, the teams were tied 1-1. But after Taylor Walls hit a deep fly ball to center field to move Kevin Kiermaier to third, the Rays had Austin Meadows at the plate.

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Meadows is hitting only .215, but he is left-handed, so Matheny chose to walk him. Questionable move. Margot came up then, and although he's right-handed, he's on a 10-game hitting streak in which he's hit .333.

On deck was Brandon Lowe, whose average had dipped below .200. Meadows' run didn't count, so why not pitch around the hot Margot? Again, though, he's left-handed. So Matheny chose to pitch to Margot.


Margot stroked a single to right field to drive in the winning run in a 2-1 Rays win in 10 innings. It was his first walk-off single (although he had a walk-off walk while playing for San Diego).

It was the Rays' second walk-off win of the year, although they've won seven games in their last at-bat.

“In a situation like that, I try to think that the pitcher has more pressure than I do," Margot said through an interpreter. "They have to locate the pitch, they have to make the pitch. As long as I stay patient, all the pressure is on them.”

Margot's hit was only the third of the night for the Rays (he also had one of the other two).

"He seems to have a knack for coming up with big hits, and he did tonight," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "He rifled the ball into right field."

For the second straight night, the Rays struggled to get any offense going. Tyler Glasnow threw eight shutout innings and gave ups just three hits. He struck out 11.

Glasnow gave way to newly acquired reliever J.P. Feyereisen, who gave up a ninth-inning homer to Andrew Benintendi to force extra innings.

"He couldn’t’ have been much better," Rays' manger Kevin Cash said. "The efficiently was amazing. That kind of stuff and he found a way to harness in the zone. Once the pitch count got a little higher, we were really comfortable with going to with J.P.. We thought tyler had done his job"

The Rays play the Royals again today at 3 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Shane McClanahan will pitch for the Rays against the Royals' Brady Singer.

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