This road trip has not gone as well as the Rays would have liked. With last night’s loss, the Rays have a hold on the second wild card spot, but only by half a game.
Rays were taking on Casey Sadler and the Dodgers’ bullpen to keep their Wild Card hopes alive.
Things started off well enough with a Travis d’Arnaud single to score Tommy Pham.
McKay got into a bit of trouble in the 2nd inning, opening up with a Cody Bellinger double, Enrique Hernandez walk, and a Max Muncy double to score two and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
A sacrifice fly gave the Rays their second out of the inning, but increased the Dodgers’ lead.
Willy Adames and Austin Meadows worked walks to put two runners on with only one out in the 5th inning.
Tie game 3-3.
McKay recovered nicely after the 2nd inning, and although was allowed to hit in the top of the 5th, was replaced with Diego Castillo in the bottom of the inning after Pham tied it.
McKay finished the day with 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 Ks and went 0-2 at the plate with a long fly ball out to the warning track.
With two outs in the 6th inning, Willy Adames doubled and brought up the pitchers spot, where Kevin Cash replaced Diego Castillo with Jesus Aguilar.
Cash went to Chaz Roe to keep the narrow lead in the bottom of the 6th, but things got dicey. A.J. Pollock opened the inning with a single, and then stole 2nd base to put a runner in scoring position with 0 outs. Chris Taylor singled, and now there were runners on the corners, 0 outs, and Roe forced Cash to go to the bullpen again and bring in Oliver Drake.
Drake faced one batter, Cody Bellinger, who struck out. Cash is taking full advantage of the not yet required 3 batter minimum.
Cash called upon Nick Anderson to hopefully get the double play and keep the Rays’ 1 run lead.
It didn’t happen. Pederson reached out and hit a ball way out of the strike zone, against the shift and brought in the tying run, and put the Rays back in the same situations. Runners on the corners with 1 out.
Anderson got Max Muncy to strike out, but a passed ball by Travis d’Arnaud gave the Dodgers the lead and moved up Joc Pederson to 2nd.
5-4 Dodgers. Nick Anderson got Will Smith to strikeout, and end the rally in the 6th inning.
A positive note, is the Rays had an answer. In the top of the 7th, Tommy Pham and Matt Duffy had back to back singles, and brought Ji-Man Choi up to the plate.
Choi struck out but when strike 2 gets called about 4 inches off the plate like this:
I don’t blame Choi for swinging at the next pitch. He has no idea what the strike zone is.
Lets rip off the band-aid, shall we? TdA struck out on a foul tip, Joey Wendle flew out. Still 5-4 Dodgers.
Wendle flies out. Huge missed opportunity for the #Rays— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) September 19, 2019
The final nail in the coffin seemed to come in the bottom of the 8th, after NL MVP favorite Cody Bellinger hit his 45th HR of the year off Emilio Pagan to give the Dodgers a 6-4 lead.
However, the Rays did not go down without a fight. Dave Roberts went to his closer, Kenley Jansen to lock down the win for the Dodgers. Tommy Pham had other plans, as he singled off Jansen, and stole 2nd base ( his 23rd of the year) to give the Rays a runner in scoring position.
A Matt Duffy walk put two runners on in the 9th with 1 out and Ji-Man Choi at the plate, who was not going to get beat by a bad strike call this time.
Rays cut down the Dodgers lead to just one run, and only out. Travis d’Arnaud tied it up on a sac fly to score Johnny Davis (who pinch an for Matt Duffy).
We got ourselves a tie game. Emilio Pagan came back out for the 9th inning, and maybe he just thrives under pressure because he sat down Gavin Lux, Edwin Rios, and A.J. Pollock in order to send the Rays to extra innings.
The 10th inning, neither team got anything going, with each side sitting down 1-2-3. Colin Poche did an admirable job of getting the heart of the Dodgers batting lineup out, working around a Chris Taylor single with a Bellinger double play, and a Jedd Gyorko flyout.
Here’s how the 11th opened:
Can Austin Meadows open up every inning for us? 7-6 Rays lead.
Tommy Pham was the next batter and he continued his hot streak, doubling to left field. Pham finished the night going 5 for 6, 1 steal, 2 RBIs and 3 Runs.
Pham made it to third base on a Daniel Robertson groundout, and Ji-Man Choi gave the Rays an insurance run with a sac fly.
8-6 Lead for the Rays, and they would count on Peter Fairbanks for the save.
Hold onto your butts.
Fairbanks got the first batter, Max Muncy to groundout. Corey Seager singled, and a fielding error by Avisail Garcia on a Will Smith fly ball, put 2 runners on with 1 out.
Gavin Lux lined out to Joey Wendle for the 2nd out, but a Edwin Rios single scored Seager and gave the Rays a narrow 1 run lead with Russell Martin pinch hitting.
Fairbanks got Martin swinging, and the Rays end their road trip with a big win over the dodgers.
Rays hold onto their 0.5 game lead for the 2nd WC spot over Cleveland, and are 2.0 games behind Oakland for the 1st WC.
Rays are off today, and have another big series with the Boston Red Sox visiting Tropicana Field tomorrow. First pitch is at 7:10 PM, with Charlie Morton on the bump for the Rays.