World Series Game 4 Recap: Rays Even Series With Stunning Walk-Offby Andersen Pickard October 25, 2020 1 comment
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
The Tampa Bay Rays came from behind and ultimately defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to Brett Phillips, who stroked a walk-off single to center field in the bottom of the ninth.
Nothing like the previous low-scoring affairs, Saturday night’s game opened with quick scoring as Justin Turner hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the first. The Dodgers scored again in the top of the third when Corey Seager cranked a home run off Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough. Los Angeles threatened to keep going with a Turner single and a Max Muncy walk. However, Will Smith grounded out to end the inning. On the other side, the Rays’ bats were silenced through three innings by Julio Urias.
A.J. Pollock doubled in the top of the fourth, forcing Rays manager Kevin Cash to make a pitching change. He summoned Ryan Thompson from the bullpen to replace Yarbrough. He held strong and escaped the jam. Tampa Bay finally found themselves in the runs column in the bottom of the fourth as postseason hero Randy Arozarena homered.
The Dodgers added extra insurance in the top of the fifth as Max Muncy singled off of Pete Fairbanks, scoring Seager. Muncy, when he saw the throw go home, advanced to second base, but the momentum of his slide forced him to fall off the base and onto shortstop Willy Adames, who easily applied the tag. Muncy argued Adames pulled him off the base, but the play was unable to be reviewed. Hunter Renfroe homered in the bottom of the fifth as the Rays pulled within one again. Two batters later, Blake Treinen entered in relief of Urias and ended the inning.
The Dodgers added a run in the top of the sixth as Kike Hernandez hit an RBI double off Diego Castillo. However, manager Dave Roberts turned to Pedro Báez in the bottom of the inning. He promptly allowed a go-ahead, three-run home run to Brandon Lowe, giving the Rays the lead.
Aaron Loup toed the rubber for the Rays in the top of the seventh. He found himself in a jam with runners on second and third and was replaced by Nick Anderson with one out in the frame. Anderson walked Will Smith but intentionally walked Cody Bellinger, loading the bases. Then, Joc Pederson hit a line drive to right field that deflected off the glove of Lowe. Seager and Turner scored, but Bellinger was caught in a run-down, ending the bleeding for Tampa Bay.
Kevin Kiermaier homered in the bottom of the seventh as the Rays tied the game again. Anderson allowed Seager to stroke an RBI single in the eighth, giving Los Angeles the lead. John Curtiss took over in relief and escaped the jam. Adam Kolarek and Brusdar Graterol combined for a scoreless bottom of the eighth to preserve the Dodgers’ lead.
Kenley Jansen took over in the bottom of the ninth and allowed a single to Kiermaier and a walk to Arozarena. With two on and two out, Phillips, who pinch-ran in the eighth, strode to the plate. Prior to this at-bat, he carried a career postseason line of 0-for-2. However, he came through clutch this time, hitting a single to center field. Kiermaier scored, and the ball was bobbled by Chris Taylor in the outfield. Arozarena capitalized on this opportunity and sprinted for him, but his helmet fell off, tripping him and forcing him to fall on his face. Taylor rebounded and fired a nice throw to the infield, but it went downhill from there. Smith mishandled the ensuing relay throw, the ball bounced away, and Arozarena stood up and scored easily.
For the Dodgers, who fell to 2-2 in the series, Seager and Turner had big nights. The duo combined for eight hits and three RBI out of the second and third spots in the lineup. Muncy, Pederson, and Hernandez also had RBI in the loss.
On the mound, Urias and relievers Treinen, Baez, and Jansen were shaky, combining for all eight runs over 7.2 innings. Kolarek and Graterol, who combined for a scoreless eighth, were the only Dodgers pitchers who did not surrender runs. Los Angeles pitchers combined for eight runs on 10 hits (four home runs) in the loss. They also allowed five walks while striking out 14.
Once again, Arozarena stole the show for the Rays, going 3-for-4 while walking once and scoring thrice. Lowe’s three-run homer was a decisive moment in this game, while Renfroe and Kiermaier also swung hot bats.
Yarbrough, Fairbanks, Castillo, Loup, and Anderson all allowed runs in the loss. Thompson and Curtiss, who got the win, were the only Rays pitchers who did not surrender a run. Overall, the Tampa Bay staff allowed seven runs on 15 hits and four walks while striking out just six.
With the series tied at two apiece, the two teams will return to the field for a decisive Game 5 on Sunday night. Clayton Kershaw will oppose Tyler Glasnow as both teams look to gain an advantage in the series ahead of an off day. Game 6 will be played on Tuesday while Game 7 (if necessary) would take place on Wednesday.
Date: Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 at 8:08 p.m. EST
Stadium: Globe Life Field
Location: Arlington, Tex.
Dodgers’ Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw | 3-1, 2.88 ERA
Rays’ Pitcher: Tyler Glasnow | 2-2, 6.08 ERA
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