Rays manager Kevin Cash surely heard the cries to move the slumping Brandon Lowe down in the batting order. However, he stuck with Lowe in the two-spot for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday and Lowe made his skipper’s loyalty pay off.
Lowe came up in the fifth with two out and a runner on against Dustin May and popped another one over the left field wall (actually off the wall first) to extend the Rays’ lead to 5-0 at the time. They hung on to beat the Dodgers 6-4 to even up the series.
It’s actually the first time all season that Lowe has hit a home run to the opposite field. All 14 of his regular season long balls and his other postseason homer either went to right or center field.
Lowe entered Game 2 having batted just .107/.180/.161 over his first 61 plate appearances this postseason. He had managed just one extra-base hit and two RBI over that span. It’s not what you want from the team’s leader in all the Triple Crown categories from the regular season.
Unsurprisingly, with Lowe struggling the Rays’ offense as a whole has been struggling (except for that Randy Arozarena guy). They came into Game 2 having managed eight or fewer hits in 10 straight playoff games, which was a record. However, on Wednesday they put together a 10-hit, six-run attack against a collection of seven Dodgers hurlers.
The vaunted Dodgers lineup managed just five hits in this one, although three of them left the yard. Of course, one of the home runs came off the bat of Corey Seager.
Seager has gone deep seven times this postseason, which is the most ever by a shortstop and tied with Arozarena for most at any position during these playoffs. Nelson Cruz (2011), Carlos Beltran (2004) and Barry Bonds (2002) hold the record with eight dingers in a single postseason.
The Rays got mostly excellent work out of starter Blake Snell, who finished the night with nine strikeouts and just two runs allowed over 4 2/3 innings. His line had been shaping up to be much better, as he hadn’t allowed a hit until two outs in the fifth. A Chris Taylor two-run shot broke up the no-no and shutout and a subsequent walk and single knocked him out of the game.
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