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Rays Pushed To Brink After Wild Game 3 Loss In Boston

(Major League Baseball)

The Tampa Bay Rays saw a handful of calls late go against them, and Christian Vazquez‘s two run homer in the bottom of the 13th off Luis Patino allowed the Boston Red Sox to take a 6-4 win and push the Rays to the brink of elimination in the American League Division Series.

Tampa Bay trailed 4-2 going into the top of the of the eighth inning, but with Hansel Robles taking over on the mound, Wander Franco immediately cut the deficit in half with his first home run of the postseason into the seats above the left field wall.  Austin Meadows followed with a double, and moved to third on a groundout by Nelson CruzYandy Diaz struck out for the second out of the inning, but Randy Arozarena picked up his teammates with a double to center despite being run into by first baseman Kyle Schwarber.  Arozarena was not allowed an additional base due to the obstruction.

Kevin Kiermaier was intentionally walked by Garrett Whitlock, who then struck out Mike Zunino to leave the go-ahead run in scoring position.

Tampa Bay ran themselves out of the inning in the tenth against Nick Pivetta, when Manuel Margot overslid the second base bag on a stolen base attempt, and in the twelfth against Pivetta, Diaz lined a one-out single to right, and was running when Kevin Kiermaier blasted a ball to deep right that hit off the wall, hit off Hunter Renfroe, and went over the four-foot bullpen wall for a ground rule double that prevented Diaz from scoring the go-ahead run.

Pivetta then struck out Zunino to keep the game tied.

Luis Patino, who was scheduled to be a part of Game 4, but had to come in to this game to start the 12th inning, began the 13th by getting J.D. Martinez to fly out, but he walked Renfroe, and Vazquez took the first pitch he saw and sent it into the seats in left to end the game.

Tampa Bay led the game early, as Franco and Meadows teamted up on Nathan Eovaldi, with the former singling, and the latter crushing a two-run homer to right for a 2-0 lead.

Rays starter Drew Rasmussen gave up a solo homer to Kyle Schwarver leading off the bottom of the first, and Boston took the lead in the third with four straight singles off Rassmussen and Josh Fleming by Christian Arroyo, Schwarber, Kike Hernandez, and Rafael Devers.

The loss means Tampa Bay trails in the best-of-five series two games to one, and must win Monday night at Fenway Park in order to force a fifth and deciding game at Tropicana Field.  The Rays have not announced a starter for the game, while Boston will likely go with Eduardo Rodriguez, who was chased early from Game 1.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:07.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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