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Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even World Series

Rays even up Series

Brandon Lowe shook loose from his extended post-season slump with two opposite-field home runs, and Tampa Bay held off Los Angeles 6-4 on Wednesday night to square the World Series at one game apiece.

“Yeah, those felt really good,” said Lowe, a 2019 All-Star who led the Rays with 14 homers and 37 RBIs this season. “It felt great to kind of get back and contribute to the team. They’ve been doing so well for the past month — it felt really good to get back and actually start doing stuff again.”

Blake Snell struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings for the Rays and didn't allow a hit until Chris Taylor's two-run homer trimmed it to 5-2 in the fifth. The Dodgers threatened to complete a big comeback in the eighth, but Tampa Bay's relievers held firm.

Lowe and Joey Wendle each had three RBIs for the Rays, whose six runs and 10 hits were their most over the past 11 post-season games.

“I think today was a little bit better indicator of the kind of team that we are,” Wendle said. “Just a complete win, complete team win, everybody contributing at different parts of the game.”

Nick Anderson got four outs for the victory. Diego Castillo earned the save when he struck out Taylor, the only batter he faced.

Pete Fairbanks went 1 2/3 innings and left-hander Aaron Loup threw a called third strike past slugger Cody Bellinger with a runner on second to end the eighth. Loup also retired the first two hitters in the ninth.

“We did a good job of battling. They've got some really good pitchers. They got out to that early lead and we just weren’t able to overcome it,” Taylor said. “We did a pretty good job of fighting to the end and we just weren’t able to come up with the big hit we needed.”

After an off day, Game 3 in the best-of-seven Series matches two big-game pitchers starting on extra rest Friday night. Charlie Morton goes for the Rays against Walker Buehler.

Los Angeles was the “home team” for the first two games but will bat first in the next three.

Lowe hit a solo shot to left-centre in the first off rookie Tony Gonsolin, putting the American League champion Rays ahead for the first time at this neutral-site World Series with their 27th homer of the post-season, matching a major league record. The second baseman was hitting .107 this post-season, and in an even worse 4-for-48 slide (.083) the past 13 games since the start of the AL Division Series.

“Sometimes guys, you’ve got to allow them to go through some tough patches, and he’s been in one,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He will go quiet for a little while, but he can get as hot as anybody in baseball.”

By the time Lowe went deep again in the fifth, his second opposite-field homer of the game — and the entire season — it was 5-0. That one bounced off the top of the left-field wall with a runner on against Dustin May, already the fourth Los Angeles pitcher.

Will Smith and NLCS MVP Corey Seager also homered for the Dodgers. Seager’s solo shot in the eighth was his seventh homer and 16th RBI, extending the franchise records he had already set this post-season. It's the most homers by a shortstop in any MLB post-season.

Snell already had all nine of his strikeouts when he walked Kiké Hernández with two outs in the fifth before Taylor, the No. 9 batter, homered on his 80th pitch. The Rays' ace was out of the game two batters later, after Mookie Betts walked and Seager singled.

“He was outstanding,” Cash said. “The slider from my vantage looked like it was a really good weapon for him. He was awesome. Gave us everything that we needed.”



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