After Unbelievable Game 4 Ending, Rays Even Series at Two Games Apiece

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(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Despite being one out away from complete control of the World Series, things fell apart at the seams for the Dodgers at the end of Game 4, as the Rays scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to secure an 8-7 victory, evening the series at two games apiece.

With Los Angeles leading 7-6, Kenley Jansen struck out Yoshi Tsutsugo to start the ninth, but Kevin Kiermaier landed on first after a broken-bat single to center. Joey Wendle subsequently lined out to left, then Randy Arozarena walked, putting runners on first and second with two out.

Brett Phillips, the last guy on the bench for Tampa Bay, followed with a loop single to center that easily scored Kiermaier after Chris Taylor bobbled the ball. Arozarena appeared to be nailed at home trying to score the game-winning run, but catcher Will Smith lost the handle on Max Muncy‘s relay, allowing Arozarena to safely cross the plate.

Needless to say, the Dodgers were stunned.

Thanks to a 420-foot solo shot off the bat of Justin Turner in the top of the first inning, Game 4 got off to an almost identical start as Game 3. With his home run, Turner became the first player in World Series history to homer in the first inning of consecutive games within a series.

In the third frame, Corey Seager landed his second homer of the series, extending the Los Angeles lead to two. After Turner singled and Muncy walked, it appeared the Dodgers would be in a spot to add more, but a Smith groundout ended any further threat.

Arozarena homered to right-center field in the bottom of the fourth inning, bringing the Rays to within one. It was Arozarena’s second home run of the series and his ninth of the postseason, establishing a major league record.

The Dodgers struck back in the fifth when Seager scored on a Muncy single to right, despite Muncy being thrown out at second after the throw home. With the run, the Dodgers led 3-1 in a game that up until that point, mostly featured solid pitching from both teams. However, the bats would heat up on both sides in the later innings, providing fans with an ending loaded with plenty of offensive excitement.

After Tampa Bay cut the lead back to one in the fifth on a mammoth Hunter Renfroe home run, the Dodgers struck right back in the top of the sixth when Enrique Hernandez drove home Smith on a double to left field. At that moment, all the see-sawing on the scoreboard seemingly began.

The Rays took the lead for the first time in the sixth when Brandon Lowe tagged Pedro Baez for a three-run shot to center. Baez had replaced Blake Treinen after Treinen allowed both Arozarena and Ji-Man Choi to reach base in consecutive ABs.

In the ensuing frame, a Joc Pederson pinch-hit single off the glove of Lowe—you guessed it, with two outs—plated both Seager and Turner. Cody Bellinger was tug out in a rundown between second and third on the play, but once the dust settled, the Dodgers were back on top with a 6-5 lead.

Not to be outdone, Kiermaier, facing Baez, homered to right-center field in the bottom of the seventh, re-tying the game at six runs apiece.

In the eighth inning, falling directly into the Los Angeles “scoring runs with two out” theme, Seager drove home Taylor, who led off the inning with a double. Taylor’s run was the Dodgers’ 57th run scored with two men out this postseason. At the seventh inning stretch, Los Angeles was on top, 7-6.

The Rays threatened in the bottom of the eighth with runners on first and second, but Adam Kolarek and Brusdar Graterol combined to hold the Rays at bay. However, it was the ninth inning when the Phillips single would rewrite yet another part of World Series history.

John Curtiss was credited with the victory. Jansen registered the loss.

Lefty starter Julio Urias went 4-2/3 frames for Los Angeles, surrendering two earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out nine.

In Sunday’s Game 5, Tampa Bay righty Tyler Glasnow will oppose Clayton Kershaw.

First pitch is slated for 8:08 p.m. Eastern time.

15 thoughts on “After Unbelievable Game 4 Ending, Rays Even Series at Two Games Apiece

  1. I hate to say it but does anyone else feel the dodger postseason curse coming back around? We had that game in the bag and the series all but won with Kershaw going to close it out. Now we have Kershaw going against their ace in a must win or else we are on the brink of elimination and they will have Blake Snell on the mound for game 6. That felt like the start of something very very bad. We need Kershaw to come out and completely shut the door on them and then send Buehler to pitch against Snell in game 6. I have a bad feeling guys. Atlanta should have been a much tougher challenge, these guys don’t have the hitters to be able to hang with us yet here we are.

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  2. You sure Dennis. Best team in a really bad division against the best team in a strong division with better pitching? Gonna be a fun 2 out of 3 series now.

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  3. Just finished watching the game… I’m speechless, devastated. As soon as I saw that the roof was opened, I *knew* the Rays would be hitting bombs…
    After G2 and G5 of 2017, I can’t take this anymore 😦 Being in Europe, G5 will be played during the night, I think I will check the final score when I wake up, I can’t be tortured during 4h like this again…
    Who knows what would have happened if not for the WWF tag on Muncy in the 5th(?)…

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    1. Vincent, if you’re going to be a real Dodger fan you have to be willing to be tortured like the rest of us. 🙂
      No fair finding out the result before deciding if you want to watch the game.
      And anyway, if we don’t win this series, there’s always next year. Hmmmm, seems to me I’ve said that before.

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  4. Do you hand Kenley the ball in the 9th if it’s 4-2? I think you might have to but personally I think Treinen or Victor Gonzalez would be better options. May seems to be feeling it a bit better tonight I think I would give it the 8th to start with a very short leash. Off day tomorrow we can throw anyone tonight.

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    1. Kenley has pitched two days in a row. I wouldn’t let him anywhere near the mound tonight. I wouldn’t have even let him put on his uniform.
      Treinen has pitched a lot also but they might have to use him. Vgon is another possibility and McGee in the right spot. And then of course there is………………………………..Kelly.

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      1. I just don’t trust Kelly. I trust V-Gon as much as anyone in our pen. They should let May see if he can get a couple more outs and then V-Gon would be my first choice because you’re right about Kenley and Treinen working a bunch. Tomorrow’s off day should help them immensely. We can go with Gonzalez, Graterol and Baez tonight.

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  5. With Gonsulin going Tuesday that means Urias will have 2 days of rest from his start and be available for at least an inning but more likely 2 and that can be huge for us. Urias has been locked in this series.

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  6. I cheated. Woke up, took a peak in the 4th. Now watching live from the 6th inning on (4am here). Thank God I’m working from home.
    Suffering with Gonzales now (WP and BB)…

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