Rays win in another walk-off in extra innings

by Gary Shelton on September 22, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Lowe was stripped and soaked after a walk-off homer./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

They shoved him. They soaked him. They stripped him.

Lowe had been waiting for another blast./CHUCK MULLER

And, most of all, they celebrated him.

After all, it was his turn.

The Tampa Bay Rays are rough on their heroes. Just look at the way they kept bouncing around Nate Lowe, and the way they kept pushing him, and the way they tore his jersey from his body. Look at the way they doused him, and the way Willy Adames walked up to him with two bottles of water and gleefully poured them over his head.

Ah, victory.

Isn't it wet?

Lowe urges the baseball to stay fair./CHUCK MULLER

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Tyler Glasnow struck out seven in three innings./CHUCK MULLER

Lowe, who had not hit a homer run since Sept. 1, launchd a 2-0 pitch just inside the left-field foul pole to lead the Rays to yet another 11-inning walk-off win over Boston, 5-4. The game came a day after the Rays won 5-4 in 11 innings on Willy Adames' walk-off single.

“That was huge," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "I know he needed it. It’s funny, we were talking, it might have been his longest homerless drought that he’s had as a

Rays SS Willy Adames celebrates his solo home run in the 7th inning./CHUCK MULLER

professional player. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but certainly his at-bats have been challenging. We talked about it the other day. We’ve asked him to go up and face the best reliever off the bench. That’s not ideal to ask a young player to do. Not judging on it. We know he’s got a lot of power, a lot of potential and he’s going to be a big part of us moving forward. He came up big today for sure.”

It was the ninth walk-off win for the Rays this season, but their seventh in their last 20 home games.

"It was great," Lowe said. "Getting some opportunities all day to score and it’s a pretty solid bullpen over there. We capitalized on the chance we had and I’m glad I was the guy to get it done.

"As cliché as it sounds, there’s not a whole lot better than hitting a walk-off homer in a pennant race. To be able to do it here and today and having this opportunity is great and

Castillo gave up the go-ahead run but got the win./CHUCK MULLER

I’m thankful for it. We get to fight again tomorrow.”

The Rays moved one game ahead of Cleveland for the second wild-card berth. They're a two games behind Oakland. After starting 27-26 at Tropicana, the Rays are 18-6 in their last 24 games.

The Rays have become an exciting, resilient team as of late.

"We don’t have a choice," Cash said. "We’ve got a lot of it, obviously. A lot of guys are doing some big, big things for us. The way we’re playing, the other teams are playing,

we’ve just got to find ways. The guys — give them a lot of credit — they certainly do that. I mean, d’Arnaud leads off the inning, hits a double and then it puts a little pressure with Johnny (Davis) being out there and Nate gets a pitch he can handle.”

Even after Boston took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 11th on yet another home run by Mitch Moreland, the Rays believed.

Choi argues a called third strike in extra innings./CHUCK MULLER

“I think it’s been consistent," Cash said. "It’s irritating. I mean, Moreland has covered us pretty well this series. He’s a really good player. I think everything that led up to that these last couple games allows us that confidence that we’re one swing of the bat away or a couple big hits away.”

Said Travis d'Arnaud, who started off the 11th with a double:

“Everyone was coming into the dugout screaming ‘Let’s go, let’s go. Game’s not over, we

can still win it.’" d'Arnaud said. "This team’s been like this since I’ve been here and it’s contagious. Especially with all the new guys here, the new coaches here, everyone’s feeding off that energy.

“It’s been a lot of fun. As cool as it is to end up on top, the games are up-and-down-up-and-down with having a lead, losing a lead, getting the lead back. All different scenarios coming in. It definitely gives us more energy, especially this late in the year, too. It gives us really good momentum going forward as well.”

Playing three straight 11-innings game can take a toll.

Anderson surrenders the game-tying home run in the eighth inning./CHUCK MULLER

“I feel bad for my mom," Cash said. "Not about the day game (Sunday), about the three straight 11-inning games. I’ve got to check on her when I’m done here.”

The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the third when d'Arnaud knocked in Austin Meadows and Joey Wendle knocked in Ji-Man Choi. Willy Adames hit a deep home run to center to make it 3-1. But home runs by Rafael Devers and Moreland gave the Red Sox the lead.

The Rays used nine pitchers, and six of them threw scoreless baseball. The Red Sox used 11 pitchers.

Austin Meadows, d'Arnaud and  Joey Wendle all had two hits for the Rays.

The Rays and Red Sox play an afternoon game today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Ryan Yarbrough pitches for the Rays against Nathan Eovaldi.

Meadows rounds third and scores./CHUCK MULLER



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