Behind a breakout game from Brandon Lowe, the Rays bounced back to even the 2020 World Series with a 6-4 victory Wednesday night. Just as important, the Rays let the Dodgers and baseball fans watching this series know it would not be as one-sided as it appeared based on Tuesday’s opener. The Rays are here to fight, no matter what — or how many pitchers — the Dodgers throw at them.
It was seven, by the way. Seven different Dodgers pitchers. Four of which came within the first four innings.
When Dodgers fans started dreaming of a World Series parade this fall, we’re sure it included open-air buses and confetti. On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts instead gave them a parade of pitchers that forced a beleaguered bullpen to record 23 outs.
It didn’t work.
Rather than keep Tampa Bay in check, the strategy seemed to fuel a Rays offense that needed a confidence boost. Most notably, second baseman Brandon Lowe emerged from his 6-for-56 postseason slump, launching a pair of home runs. Lowe opened the scoring with an opposite-field solo blast against starter Tony Gonsolin in the first inning. In the fifth, he added an opposite-field two-run home run against reliever Dustin May.
Joey Wendle drove in Tampa Bay’s other three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Tampa Bay’s early five-run lead looked like it would be enough for starter Blake Snell to pick up his first World Series win. The former AL Cy Young Award winner walked four, but held the Dodgers hitless into the fifth inning. A two-run home from Chris Taylor broke up his bid. After manager Kevin Cash stuck with Game 1 starter Tyler Glasnow too long, he quickly pulled Snell as more trouble mounted.” data-reactid=”38″>Tampa Bay’s early five-run lead looked like it would be enough for starter Blake Snell to pick up his first World Series win. The former AL Cy Young Award winner walked four, but held the Dodgers hitless into the fifth inning. A two-run home from Chris Taylor broke up his bid. After manager Kevin Cash stuck with Game 1 starter Tyler Glasnow too long, he quickly pulled Snell as more trouble mounted.
The quick hook played out much better for Cash. Despite home runs from Will Smith and Corey Seager, the Rays bullpen closed. Nick Anderson picked up the win after escaping the fifth-inning jam. Diego Castillo struck out Chris Taylor to earn the save.
It’s been too long since we’ve seen a quality fan grab like this one at the ballpark.
Quite a shirt choice, too.
Not to be outdone, this fan caught Will Smith’s sixth-inning home run … and then threw his glove on the field.
This time around, we’d like to point out the necklace.
The World Series continues with Game 3 on Friday. That’s right, unlike the Division Series and Championship Series, there are actual off days during the World Series.
There’s no pitcher the Rays would rather have starting this pivotal game than Charlie Morton. The 36-year-old has been lights out in the postseason, winning all three of his starts while posting a sparkling 0.57 ERA. That includes 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Los Angeles will counter with Walker Buehler, who delivered an ace-like performance against Atlanta with the Dodgers’ season on the line in NLCS Game 6. Buehler struck out six over six scoreless innings. Prior to that outing, Buehler had been dealing with a blister issue that prevented him from pitching deep into games and maintaining his effectiveness. If that’s finally behind him, Buehler will be a difficult matchup for Tampa Bay.
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