Rays even up World Series
After dropping the first game of the World Series, the Rays were in something close to a must-win situation. I wouldn’t go so far as to actually call it that, but against a team as talented as the Dodgers falling behind 2-0 would have been devastating. Fortunately for Tampa, they were able to turn to their ace, Blake Snell, for the start in this one while the Dodgers had to rely on a bullpen game to try and take the commanding lead in the series.
Snell was the better option of the two sides, if you can believe. The Rays lefty was fantastic in this one, keeping this loaded Dodgers lineup off the board through four innings. Meanwhile, Tampa wasted no time at all taking the early lead. After being their best hitter for most of the season, Brandon Lowe has had a tough postseason run, but he broke out of that slump in a big way on Wednesday night. That started in the top half of the first when he gave Tampa the early 1-0 lead thanks to a solo shot off Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin.
Tampa slowed down with the bats a bit over the next few innings, but were able to extend their lead in the fourth with a two-run double from Joey Wendle. With the 3-0 lead, they added on even more in the fifth, and it was Lowe again. This time there was a runner on base as he smacked his second homer of the game, and just like that it was a 5-0 lead for the Rays.
At this point, though, the Dodgers started to turn things on a bit and the offenses on both sides started to take over. In the bottom of the fifth, Snell was one out away from a perfect inning, but he kept things going with a two-out walk to Kiké Hernández. That was big, because Chris Taylor followed it up with a two-run homer, and the Dodgers were back to within three. Snell let two more on in the inning, too, before Nick Anderson came in out of the bullpen for a huge strikeout against Justin Turner to end the potential rally.
After both sides scored a run in the sixth, it was a 6-3 lead heading into the final three frames, and the Rays just needed their bullpen to avoid a meltdown. They got it done with a perfect seventh, but then Corey Seager led off the eighth with a home run, and that was followed by a double. Suddenly, it was a two-run game with a man on second and nobody out, but Peter Fairbanks settled down for two outs before Aaron Loup came in for the final out. That just left one more inning, and Loup and Diego Castillo combined for a perfect ninth to close out the game.
The 6-4 victory gave Tampa their first win of the series and tied things up at one game apiece. We’re back to having days off mid-series now, and the teams will indeed be off tonight. Game Three is on Friday at 8:09 PM ET. Charlie Morton goes for Tampa while Walker Buehler gets the ball for the Dodgers.