After a disappointing first two games to start the series, the Rays looked to even the home-stand record at 3-3 and not get swept by the Mariners.
Charlie Morton took the mound for the Rays, hoping to help put the team back in the win column. The Mariners used opener Cory Gearrin before bulk guy Wade LeBlanc took over in the second inning.
Tommy Pham started this game off with a leadoff walk, stealing both second and third base after getting on. Travis d’Arnaud drove Pham home with a sacrifice fly to our old friend Mallex Smith in right field, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Guillermo Heredia doubled the Rays lead with a solo home run, putting the Rays up 2-0. The ball left Heredia’s bat at 97 mph with a laugh angle of 34 degrees and an estimated distance of 373 feet into the left field seats.
Guillermo Heredia blasts a solo shot against his former team as the @RaysBaseball tack on another run!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 21, 2019
Watch all of today's series finale live now on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports Go!#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/vbbdiofn34
The Mariners cut into the Rays’ lead after JP Crawford tripled to start the inning. Austin Nola was hit by a pitch before Kyle Seager grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Crawford and putting the M’s on the board, making this a 2-1 game.
The inning didn’t end after the first run was scored, however, as Morton loaded the bases with only one out. Tim Lopes drove home two runners with a single to right field, giving the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Morton got out of the inning without allowing any additional runs.
Travis d’Arnaud led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, and Jesus Aguilar followed that up with a double. After Matt Duffy grounded out, Kevin Kiermaier drove both runners home with a single up the middle, giving the Rays the lead once again, 4-3. Willy Adames grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Morton’s day was done after five tough innings of work in an outing where he seemed to have no command of his pitches. Morton threw 99 pitches, 62 for strikes, while allowing three runs on four hits. Morton walked two while striking out three before Colin Poche took over in the top of the sixth.
The Rays added another run in the bottom of the sixth after Austin Meadows doubled to lead off the inning. Travis d’Arnaud moved Meadows up to third base after hitting a single, and Kevin Kiermaier drove Meadows home with a two-out fielder’s choice.
Poche worked two hitless innings, striking out three. Nick Anderson entered the game to pitch the top of the eighth, and Anderson got the job done, allowing one hit but most importantly no runs. Emilio Pagan was brought in to try and close this one out for the Rays.
Pagan has been about as good of a closer that a team can find this year, but good is not the word that one would use to describe Pagan this afternoon. Pagan allowed a solo home run to cut the lead to one, then gave up the lead after hitting Jake Fraley and allowing Dee Gordon to single before Mallex Smith hit a two-run triple, giving the Mariners a 6-5 lead.
Pagan got out of the inning without allowing any more runs, so if the Rays wanted to win this one, they would need to walk it off. Kevin Kiermaier delivered exactly what the doctor ordered to lead off the bottom of the ninth, hitting a solo home run to dead center field, tying this game 6-6.
THE OUTLAW TIES IT UP!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 21, 2019
Kevin Kiermaier crush a solo shot to center in the bottom of the ninth, and the @RaysBaseball have pulled even with the Mariners!
Catch the finale of this back-and-forth battle live NOW on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports Go!#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/ZBpdag2vHv
Kiermaier’s homer wouldn’t be the only run to score for the Rays in the bottom of the ninth, however, as the Rays walked this one off. Willy Adames hit a single and Mike Brosseau hit a double, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. The Mariners intentionally walked Ji-Man Choi, bringing Tommy Pham to the plate. One wild pitch later, the Rays were winners, 7-6.
WALK-OFF TIME AGAIN, BABY!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 21, 2019
The @RaysBaseball come home with the winning run thanks to a wild pitch, and they beat the Mariners in the series finale this afternoon!#RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/h1mbWD465W
In a game that featured many lead changes, the Rays found a way to not get swept and battle through a ninth inning blown lead. The Rays forced the issue in the bottom of the ninth and put the odds in their favor, loading the bases with no outs and getting a good result. The Rays will head to Baltimore to begin a four-game series, with Ryan Yarbrough taking the bump for Rays in the first game tomorrow starting at 7:05 pm.