road. PETERSBURG — Unbeaten of their first 10 residence video games of the season, the Rays lastly needed to strike within the backside of the ninth inning for the primary time Friday evening. Then they did what they’ve been doing all season.
They hit a house run, and gained.
And within the ninth minute, Christian Bethancourt halved the Rays’ deficit with a solo proper subject shot off Reinaldo Lopez. Brandon Lowe then despatched the Rays to a dramatic 8-7 victory over the White Sox at Tropicana Discipline with a two-run homer to proper, his first profession hit.
“It feels so nice. It feels nice,” Lowe mentioned afterwards, nonetheless in a soaked T-shirt within the following festivities. “I feel that is likely to be [the] Actually, Homer’s first experience in my life. It’s at all times cool. “
The Rays improved to 11-0 at residence on the 12 months, prolonged their season-opening residence run streak to twenty video games (tie the 2019 Mariners), and have become solely the thirteenth staff within the fashionable period (since 1901) to win at the least 17 of their residence runs. The primary 20 matches. It’s the perfect begin to the season for any staff within the Majors for the reason that Crimson Sox (additionally 17-3) in 2018.
“It was an excellent win,” mentioned supervisor Kevin Money. “I don’t know if we are able to say we noticed that coming.”
Certainly, Friday’s recreation had some twists and turns earlier than an thrilling end.
The Rays jumped out to a four-run lead in opposition to Michael Kopech on a two-run double by Josh Lowe and a two-run homer to heart by Harold Ramírez. However that lead shortly disappeared, albeit in an odd means.
Proper fielder Calvin Fuscher, who hit a 13-pitch inning in his second profession begin, allowed three runs within the second. Then got here an uncharacteristic gag of management that may have value Tampa Bay the sport if it weren’t for his or her seemingly indomitable lineup.
The Rays misplaced the lead whereas hitting a franchise-record six instances over the third of three innings as 9 White Sox got here to the plate and none put a ball into play. Left-handed Jalen Bix walked a career-high 5 whereas recording solely two outs, then gave option to right-handed Cooper Cresswell, who gave option to the sector earlier than ultimately getting knocked out within the first spherical.
“That’s what makes this win good is that it’s nearly as good because it will get [our pitchers] Hey, we had been in a position to choose them off in an offensive means,” Money mentioned. “They positively did it for us over and over.”
With an unrelenting angle and stunning knack for getting deep, this Rays lineup has confirmed able to erasing deficits in a rush.
They hit 45 residence runs, the second-most by a 20-game residence run in AL/NL historical past behind solely the two,000 Cardinals (47), and the final two lengthy balls turned the tide of Friday’s recreation.
Bethancourt took two pitches to go ahead for the rely in opposition to López, went into swing place and hit his fastball over the appropriate subject wall. He initially stopped at second base, the place the ball bounced off a fan and returned to play. However the judges met and dominated on the house contest, which was upheld after reviewing the replay.
“We saved saying, ‘We’ve got to play 27 instances,’” Bethancourt mentioned. “We’ve got to maintain the streak going, play 27 instances and issues will occur, and we’ve managed to maneuver ahead.”
Yandy Díaz singled to proper to herald Lowe, whose solely earlier look was a sacrifice fly on September 6, 2020. He was “livid” that he had sacrificed his traditional swing for the connection.
When he returned to the dugout afterward, Lowe mentioned, he slammed his helmet into its chamber “sufficient to set free some frustration”.
“Then put it out on the ball,” Money quipped.
After he went into the two-stroke rely within the ninth inning, Lowe mentioned he was content material with simply shifting runner Vidal Brogan however was decided to not make the identical mistake he made earlier. Shortening his swing, Lowe swung a full rely slider and hoped for the perfect as he cruised the appropriate subject benches.
“I didn’t line it up completely, like I really feel like I do after I run residence,” Lowe mentioned. “I used to be, like, praying for it to go.”
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