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Rays stun Dodgers in Game 4 with two-run, walk-off single to even series

By Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Baseball

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays battled their way Saturday to pull even in the World Series.

And the momentum might be enough to push them ahead. The Rays rallied in the ninth inning to score an 8-7 walk-off win in a back-and-forth game against the Dodgers and tie the World Series at two games apiece. Game 5 is Sunday night.

Brett Phillips, the Seminole High product acquired in an August trade, singled in the two ninth-inning runs. The rally started with a one-out, broken bat single by Kevin Kiermaier off Kenley Jansen. With two outs, Randy Arozarena, the Rays' breakout star, walked.

The night didn't start well for the Rays, and somewhat similar to Friday — with the Dodgers taking the early lead by scoring with two outs — hitting a pair of solo homers off Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough.

In the first, it was Justin Turner on a 2-0 cutter. In the third, Corey Seager on a 2-2 curveball. The homer was Seager's eighth of the postseason, which tied him for the all-time record with Rays rookie Arozarena, Nelson Cruz (Texas, 2011), Carlos Beltran (Houston, 2004) and Barry Bonds (San Francisco, 2002).

But only for a few moments.

That's because Arozarena led off the fourth with a blast of his own, taking the top spot, at least temporarily, with his ninth homer in his 18th game of the postseason.

The Dodgers extended the lead to 3-1 in a convoluted sequence in the fifth. Seager was on second after a single and a Pete Fairbanks wild pitch with two outs when Max Muncy singled to right. Hunter Renfroe's throw wasn't in time to get Seager, but catcher Mike Zunino fired to second, and Muncy was called out as he slid off the base and into Willy Adames, who wisely kept the tag, and a bit of a bear hug, on him.

Renfroe made up for the throw with a blast to left leading off the fifth, 444 feet at an exit velocity of 111.4 mph to cut the Dodgers lead to 3-2.

 

The Dodgers pushed it to 4-2 in the sixth off a not-sharp Diego Castillo, who walked two of the first three he faced, then allowed a two-out double to Kike Hernandez. That was the third run of the night, and 53rd of the postseason, that the Dodgers scored with two outs.

The Rays got the big hit they have been searching for in the sixth.

Arozarena led off with a single, tying Pablo Sandoval's overall record for a postseason with 26 hits, and breaking the mark for three-hit games with his fifth. Jose Altuve (Astros, 2017), Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2004), Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner (Mariners, 1995) all had four. Pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi walked, and an out later, Brandon Lowe delivered a huge blow off Pedro Baez. Quiet again after his two homers in Game 2, Lowe hit a three-run homer to left-center that, finally, gave the Rays a 5-4 lead.

But that didn't last long either.

Lefty Aaron Loup allowed a single to Seager and a double to Turner to start the seventh. He got one out, Nick Anderson came on to get another, then intentionally walked Cody Bellinger to load the bases. That strategy failed when pinch-hitter Joc Pederson lined a ball that Lowe, shifted from second to shallow right, made a full dive for but just missed as the ball ticked off his glove, with two runs scoring.

But there was more drama to come. Kiermaier homered with one out in the seventh off Baez to re-tie the score 6-6.

And then the relentless Dodgers went back ahead in the eighth. A leadoff double by Chris Taylor, then another two-out hits, an opposite-field bloop single by Seager made it 7-6.

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