Rays break through in 10th for win

by Gary Shelton on August 31, 2023

in general

Lowe drove in his 71st run./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 4 a.m.

The most impressive part of his most impressive season was not his hot start. Obviously, it was not the sag in the middle.

For Josh Lowe, the thing that the Tampa Bay Rays will remember is the way he climbed back after the fall.

In sports, and perhaps in life, what is most satisfying is how strong you rebound after it seems that the world has caught up to you. Perhaps you had that in mind Wednesday night when Lowe drove in the winning run in a 10-inning, 3-0 victory over the Florida Marlins.

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Lowe, pinch-hitting for Vidal Brujan, slapped a 1-2 pitch into center field to knock in the Rays’ first run of the game. After Lowe stole second, Randy Arozarena drove in the final two innings.

Arozarena reached the 20-20 level with 21 homers and 20 stolen bases. It is a franchise-record third straight season Arozarena has reached this plateau.

But the breakthrough hit was by Lowe, who started the season hitting .342 for the first month. In July, however, he slid to .197. In August, he is hitting .338. In his last 11 games, he’s hitting .415. Lowe now has 71 RBI on the season.

For most of the night, Lowe was kept on the bench as the Marlins ran a fleet of left-handers at the Rays. It worked. The Rays had just two hits — and were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position — in the first nine innings. Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo was particularly nasty, giving  up just one hit in six innings.

The Rays’ Zach Eflin was sharp, too. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four hits and no runs. He got no-decision, which means he is winless in consecutive starts against Gerrit Cole and Luzardo.

The Rays’ late inning surges continued.  In their last 15 games, the Rays have scored 90 runs. Sixty-four of those have come in the sixth inning or later.

The Rays are off today, then open a series in Cleveland on Friday night. The Rays have not announced a starter. The Guardians will start Cal Quantrill.

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