Rays outlasted in extras in series finale with Diamondbacks
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wilmer Flores snapped a 13th-inning tie with an RBI single, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks end a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Eduardo Escobar made up for a crucial throwing error, leading off the 13th with a single off Adam Kolarek (2-1) — Arizona’s first hit since the fifth inning. He moved to second on a double-play grounder before scoring on Flores’ two-out broken-bat hit to right field off Chaz Roe.
Arizona pitchers combined to set a franchise record with 23 strikeouts.
The Rays rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force extra innings, scoring on Escobar’s eighth-inning error and Kevin Kiermaier‘s two-out, pinch-hit single in the ninth.
The Rays made it interesting in the eighth, scoring an unearned run on Escobar’s errant throw to trim Arizona’s lead to 2-1. But they failed to take advantage of eventually loading the bases with no outs.
The Diamondbacks weren’t as fortunate in the ninth, when closer Greg Holland gave up a two-out double to Yandy Diaz and walked Tommy Pham intentionally before Tampa Bay tied it on Kiermaier’s single to right.
Jarrod Dyson drew a pair of leadoff walks and scored Arizona’s first two runs on a force play and Marte’s RBI single that made it 2-0 in the third. The Diamondbacks had plenty of other opportunities, but were just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position against Morton.
Lowe extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games with an infield single for Tampa Bay, which was even worse than Arizona with runners in scoring position — going 0 for 12 with eight strikeouts before Kiermaier’s ninth-inning single tied it.
Robbie Ray pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Arizona, and allowing four hits and striking out a season-high 11. The Diamondbacks starter fanned six of the seven batters he faced with runners in scoring position.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taijuan Walker (Tommy John surgery) may start a 30-day minor league assignment soon. He threw 47 pitches at extended spring training on Monday. “Super excited about Taijuan,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s feeling very good.”
Rays: C Michael Perez was placed on the 10-day injured list after with a right oblique strain that occurred during batting practice Tuesday. Perez is optimistic he will only miss two to three weeks. “Hopefully it’s a short stint, but obliques are tricky,” manager Kevin Cash said.
Attendance for the three-game series was just 24,846. Wednesday’s finale drew the largest crowd, 8,663.
Diamondbacks: Return home from a six-game trip to begin a four-game set with Atlanta, with RHP Luke Weaver (3-1, 3.29 ERA) facing Braves RHP Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.14) on Thursday.
Rays: Off Thursday before hosting a weekend series against the second-place New York Yankees.