An error by Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor allowed Randy Arozarena to score the winning run in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8-7 victory Saturday evening, tying the World Series at two games apiece.
The Dodgers were one strike away from the victory when reliever Kenley Jansen walked Arozarena on a full-count pitch, advancing Kevin Kiermaier to second. Kiermaier, the Rays’ No. 9 hitter, had singled with one out.
Brett Phillips, who entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth, singled on a 1-2 cutter, driving in Kiermaier with the tying run. The ball went off Taylor’s glove and went to right fielder Mookie Betts, who threw to first baseman Max Muncy. Catcher Will Smith was unable to control Muncy’s throw to the plate and Jansen did not back up the throw.
Arozarena had stumbled and fell between third and home but got up and slid hands first into the plate.
Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas where the entire series is being played in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading the coronavirus.
Seeking to move within one victory of their first World Series championship since 1988, the Dodgers took a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth on Corey Seager’s two-out tie-breaking single, his fourth consecutive hit after popping out on his first at-bat. Seager’s first hit was a two-out home run off Ryan Yarbrough in the third.
In the first lead change of the Series, Pedro Baez, the third of six Dodger pitchers, allowed a three-run homer by Brandon Lowe in the sixth, giving the Rays a 5-4 lead.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the seventh on pinch-hitter Joc Pederson’s two-out, two-run single.
Tampa Bay tied the score on Kiermaier’s solo homer in the bottom of the seventh off Baez.
Justin Turner became the first player to hit first-inning home runs in back-to-back World Series games when he sent Ryan Yarbrough’s 2-0 cutter over the center field fence.
Arozarena homered leading off Tampa Bay’s fourth, beginning a streak of eight consecutive half-innings with at least one run.
The home run was Arozarena’s ninth of the 2020 postseason, setting the record for home runs in a single postseason. The record was set by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants in 2002 and previously tied by Carlos Beltran of the Houston Astros in 2004 and Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers in 2011 and Seager earlier Saturday.
The Dodgers increased their led to 4-2 in the fifth when Muncy singled in Sager, who singled with one out and advanced to second on Pete Fairbanks’ wild pitch.
Hunter Refroe homered off Dodger starter Julio Urias leading off the fifth.
Kike Hernandez, the No. 9 hitter in the Dodger lineup, doubled in Smith, who drew a full-count walk from Diego Castillo, the fourth Rays’ pitcher, leading off the sixth.
Urias allowed two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out nine and walking one. He was removed from the game by manger Dave Roberts with two outs in the fifth inning and throwing 80 pitches and about to face the Rays’ lineup for a third time.
Yarbrough, the Tampa Bay starter, allowed two runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings with one walk and one strikeout.
The Dodgers out-hit the Rays, 15-10. The Dodgers were four-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. Tampa Bay was two-for-six with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base.
All the Dodger runs were scored with two outs, increasing their record total for the 2020 postseason to 57. The previous record was 46 by the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, whose roster included Roberts.
Many individual and team postseason records have been broken in 2020 because of the additional round caused the expansion of the playoffs to eight teams in each league, three more than last season.
Jansen, the sixth Dodger pitcher, was charged with the loss, allowing two runs (one unearned) and two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
John Curtiss was credited with the victory, allowing two hits in 1 1/3 shutout innings.
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