The 116th World Series lacked gripping drama until the middle innings of Game 4 on Saturday, when suddenly all hell began breaking loose.
Played at a fast-breaking pace, with the thought of a safe lead laughable, the Rays and Dodgers staged a classic at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, that showed both teams’ resolve and moved this series into the up-for-grabs category.
Brett Philips’ RBI single off Kenley Jansen and catcher Will Smith’s subsequent error on the throw home gave the Rays a wild 8-7 victory to even the series.
Jansen walked sizzling Randy Arozarena — who earlier in the game blasted his 10th homer of this postseason, establishing a MLB record — to move the tying run to second base with two outs before Phillips singled to right. Chris Taylor bobbled the ball, as the lead run scored, but Arozarena stumbled rounding third. He should have been nailed at the plate, except that Smith mishandled Max Muncy’s cutoff throw, allowing Arozarena to score the game-winner.
Corey Seager’s bloop single to left-center in the eighth — his fourth hit of the night — gave the Dodgers a 7-6 lead. All seven of the Dodgers’ runs scored with two outs, extending their postseason record to 57.
The Rays had tied it an inning earlier with their second homer in as many frames. Kevin Kiermaier unloaded against Pedro Baez, a shot leading off the seventh that tied it 6-6.
Joc Pederson’s two-run single off second baseman Brandon Lowe’s outstretched glove in the seventh had reclaimed the lead for the Dodgers at 6-5, continuing a frantic stretch.
Lowe resurrected the Rays in the sixth with a three-run homer against Baez that gave the Rays their first lead since Wednesday. Lowe, who hit two homers in that Game 2 victory, cleared the fence in left-center against Baez, who had entered after Blake Treinen surrendered a leadoff single to Randy Arozarena and walked pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi.
The Dodgers turned it over to Treinen in the fifth, after Julio Urias allowed two earned runs on four hits over 4²/₃ innings with nine strikeouts and one walk. The left-hander Urias entered 4-0 with a 0.56 ERA in this postseason.
“What we saw [Friday] night with [Walker] Buehler was pretty challenging, pretty dominant,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said before the game, referring to Buheler’s six shutout innings in Game 3. “Urias has been right there with him. The hope on our side is just not allow him to get into rhythm.”
Kike Hernandez kept the Dodgers’ two-out scoring bandwagon rolling with an RBI double in the sixth against Diego Castillo that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-2. Castillo created his own trouble by walking Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock in succession.
Max Muncy’s RBI single in the fifth put the Rays in a 3-1 hole after Seager singled against Pete Fairbanks and took second on a wild pitch.
Hunter Renfroe quickly reclaimed the run for the Rays, with a mammoth homer to left against Urias leading off the bottom of the inning. Renfroe’s 444-foot blast was his second homer this postseason.
An inning earlier, Arozarena cleared the fence in right-center to establish a MLB record with his ninth homer this postseason. He had shared the record with Barry Bonds, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Seager, who joined the list only an inning earlier.
Seager unloaded against Ryan Yarbrough in the third inning for his second homer in this series and gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Justin Turner homered in the first inning for a second straight game — the first time in World Series history that has occurred — for his 12th career postseason homer, which moved him ahead of Duke Snider on the Dodgers’ all-time list. Snider hit all 11 of his homers in the World Series, in fewer than half the plate appearances Turner has received.
Yarbrough lasted 3¹/₃ innings for the Rays and surrendered two earned runs on five hits and one walk.
Credit: Source link