Brandon Lowe on Wednesday hit two home runs as the Tampa Bay Rays showed their resiliency in a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers that knotted the World Series one game apiece.
Joey Wendle drove in three runs for the Rays, who would try to maintain momentum in Game 3 today.
Blake Snell was outstanding on the mound, holding the Dodgers without a hit for more than four innings before giving up a walk and a home run in the fifth.
However, homers for Chris Taylor, Will Smith and Corey Seager were not enough for the Dodgers, who were coming off a dominant 8-3 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday at the neutral site of Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
“I don’t think anyone in our clubhouse thought this series was over,” Lowe said. “We had to show up and take care of business, and we came out there and played our game.”
Lowe, a stalwart of the Rays offense as they built the best regular-season record in the American League, was 6 for 52 through the first three rounds of the playoffs, and was 0 for 4 at the plate in Game 1.
He gave the Rays an early lead when he belted a fastball from Dodgers rookie starter Tony Gonsolin over the left centerfield wall for a solo homer with one out in the first inning.
“Pure joy,” Lowe said of the reaction in the dugout.
Gonsolin, making his third career post-season appearance, lasted just 1-1/3 innings, but he was not the only one of the Dodgers’ seven pitchers to be victimized by Lowe, who lined a two-run blast over the leftfield wall off the Dodgers’ fourth pitcher of the night, Dustin May, in the fifth inning to give the Rays a 5-0 lead.
That was after Tampa Bay third baseman Wendle smacked a line drive double off May to drive in two runs in the fourth.
Lowe became the first player to hit two opposite-field home runs in one World Series game, but he said he did not go to the plate seeking to hit it out of the park.
“I just go up there, try to hit the ball solid and see how hard the ball comes off the bat,” he said.
Wendle said that no one on the Rays team was surprised to see Lowe break out of his slump in a big way, but he thought it was a characteristic team effort that put Tampa Bay back in the win column.
“Today was a better indicator of the kind of team that we are,” Wendle said. “It was a complete team win, everybody contributing in different parts of the game.”
The Rays are seeking a first championship, having fallen in their only prior World Series appearance against Philadelphia in 2008.
Back in the World Series for the third time in four years, the Dodgers are in pursuit of their first title since 1988.
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