ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Lowe hit a game-ending single leading off the 10th inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied from another late deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-5 on Wednesday night.
Lowe’s hit to right off Brent Suter (4-2) scored automatic runner Osleivis Basabe.
“He got a pitch he could handle, smoked it down the line,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Yandy Díaz tied it at 5-all with a two-run single in the ninth off Rockies closer Justin Lawrence, who blew his sixth save in 16 chances. The AL batting leader went 2 for 4 and raised his average from .328 to .329.
“Look, we’ve been fortunate that it seems like (when) we need a big hit Yandy’s either up or he’s coming up soon, and it does feel like he comes through more times than not,” Cash said. “Lawrence is really, really tough on righties … but Yandy can hit anybody.”
Pete Fairbanks (2-4) pitched a perfect 10th.
Randy Arozarena and Isaac Paredes homered for the AL wild card-leading Rays, who scored nine times in the eighth inning to win Tuesday’s series opener 12-4.
According the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the tenth time in franchise history that Tampa Bay was won consecutive games when trailing entering the eighth.
Elias Díaz drove in three runs for the NL-worst Rockies. He tied it at 1-all on his 13th homer during the fifth and had a two-run single during a four-run sixth that put the Rockies up 5-2.
“These are gut-wrenchers, right?” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “It’s tough. But there’s a learning experience for Justin, who’s really I think establishing himself as a major league back-end reliever.”
Colin Poche replaced Rays starter Aaron Civale with two on and no outs in the sixth and walked Ryan McMahon on a 3-2 pitch. After striking out Brendan Rodgers and Nolan Jones on full counts, Elias Díaz lined his two-run hit to left.
Poche walked Jurickson Profar to reload the bases before Andrew Kittredge entered and hit Elehuris Montero with a pitch. Kittredge then gave up an RBI single to Brenton Doyle as Colorado went ahead 5-2.
Paredes cut the Rays’ deficit to 5-3 with his team-leading 25th homer later in the sixth.
Colorado’s Austin Gomber allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Civale allowed three runs and four hits, striking out nine.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in in the fifth on Yandy Díaz’s RBI single. He is hitting .448 (13 for 29) during a career-best stretch of six straight multi-hit games.
Arozarena put the Rays up 1-0 in the third with his 20th homer, and became the fourth Tampa Bay player to have at least three consecutive seasons of 20 or more homers.
VERY RARE FINISH
Colorado came in as the second team in major league history to lose two straight games in which it led in the eighth inning or later and allowed seven or more runs in the eighth inning or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other was the 1893 NL champion Boston Beaneaters — today’s Atlanta Braves — against the Cleveland Spiders. The Rockies’ loss to the Rays Tuesday followed Sunday’s 10-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox in which they gave up seven runs in the eighth.
“These will test you, for sure,” Black said. “Nobody wants to contribute more than bullpen guys when the game is close. They’re feeling it hard. It weighs on those guys.”