Tampa Bay Rays snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they rally with two out in the ninth to win 4-3

July 18, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Tampa Bay Rays’ Shane Peterson watches his RBI single off Oakland Athletics’ Santiago Casilla during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

by Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND– The Tampa Bay Rays, currently in second place in the AL East, pulled out a win as they rallied to score two runs in the top of the ninth to beat the A’s 4-3. The A’s starter, Chris Smith, pitched well enough to win. He went seven innings and allowed 2 runs, one of which was unearned, on just three hits. Smith was trying to win his first game in the Majors since June 24th, 2008 when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox. Blake Treinen retired the Rays in order in the eighth. Santiago Casilla retired the first two Rays’ hitters in the ninth but could not record the final out. Not only did Casilla blow the save, but he also had to absorb the loss.  The game summary follows below.

It was the Rajai and Khris Davis show in the bottom of the first inning. Rajai led off the inning with a single. Rays’ starter Blake Snell struck out the next two hitters, but Rajai stole second when Marcus Semien went down swinging, and he swiped third when Ryon Healy was at bat. Khris Davis made Rajai’s efforts all for naught as he blasted his 27th round tripper of the year to deep left center field to give the A’s an early 2-0. Snell, however, did strike out the side.

The Rays scored an unearned run in the top of the second inning. A’s starter Chris Smith walked Logan Morrison to start the frame. Morrison advanced to third when Matt Chapman misplayed Willson Ramos’ rocket shot for an error. Morrison was able to go from first to third on the play. Brad Miller hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Morrison with the Rays first run of the game.

The Rays tied the game in the third when Steven Souza, Jr. hit a line shot into the seats in left field for his 20th of the year. It was the second night in a row that Souza led off an inning with a solo homer to left.

The A’s regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Snell walked Khris Davis and Jed Lowrie to put men on at first and second with no out. Matt Chapman hit a fly ball to deep center field that allowed Davis to tag up and motor to third. For the second night in a row, the A’s scored a run on a wild pitch. Snell’s pitch got by Willson Ramos and Davis made it home safely. The A’s now lead 3-2 after four innings of play.

The Rays rallied, with two out, to score two runs on the strength of a single, walk, and two more singles off Santiago Casilla. Casilla recorded another blown save and is line to take the loss. Rays Alex Colome retired the A’s in the bottom half of the inning to record his 28th save of the season. The Rays win 4-3.

Game Notes-  The A’s are now 42-52 for the year while the Rays improve to 51-44 and are just a game and a half behind the Boston Red Sox at the moment. Rays manager Kevin Cash was ejected in the fifth inning as he objected to home plate umpire Bill Welke’s third strike call on Steven Souza. It was Cash’s third ejection of the year and seventh of his career.

The A’s play the Rays again on Wednesday at 12:35 pm. Sonny Gray will pitch for Oakland and Jake Faria will go for Tampa Bay.

Time of game was two hours and fifty minutes and 15,231 fans saw the Rays rally to defeat the A’s.

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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