Ji-Man Choi hit a go-ahead double in the 11th inning and reliever Matt Wisler made the run hold up as the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.
Tampa Bay rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and avoided dropping their third straight game in the series. Now, the Rays have an opportunity to split the four-game series on Thursday.
Wisler worked a scoreless 11th inning and collected his first save by striking out Jonah Heim for the final out. The game lasted 4 hours, 1 minute.
In the 11th inning, Rays manager Kevin Cash was ejected by plate umpire Vic Carapazza for arguing a check-swing strike on Choi. Once the at-bat continued, Choi, on a 2-2 offering, delivered an RBI double off Dennis Santana (2-2), scoring Harold Ramirez from second.
Tampa Bay’s Brett Phillips started the 10th inning on second base and went to third on a groundout. He scored on Vidal Brujan’s sacrifice fly off Santana, which gave the Rays their first lead of the series.
The Rangers responded, tying it in the bottom of the 10th on Adolis Garcia’s one-out, run-scoring single to left off Colin Poche (1-0). Charlie Culberson, who started the inning on second, scored without a throw.
After Sam Huff walked, Nathaniel Lowe struck out, and rookie Josh H. Smith walked to load the bases. However, Zach Reks flied out to left, extending the game.
Huff and Lowe hit solo home runs for Texas. Randy Arozarena connected on a solo shot for Tampa Bay.
Rangers right-hander Jon Gray was dominant over seven innings in a no-decision. He struck out a season-high 12 batters while allowing one run on three hits and two walks.
Gray’s previous season-best for strikeouts was eight, on May 16 against the Los Angeles Angels. It was the fourth time in the right-hander’s career that he fanned at least 12. His personal best is 16, a mark he set in 2016 against the San Diego Padres.
Tampa Bay’s left-hander Jeffrey Springs struck out seven in five innings, allowing the home runs to Huff and Lowe for the only two runs he yielded. He gave up five hits and one walk.
Tampa Bay snapped a string of 17 straight scoreless innings when Arozarena belted a home run to left with one out in the seventh inning, slicing the Rays’ deficit to 2-1.
–Field Level Media