Through the first three games of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, a common theme emerged: one team took a lead and held on despite late charges by their opponent. The series lacked the theater and strategy of a seesawing, white-knuckled contest.
Until Saturday. Game 4 — a 8-7 win by the Rays that evened the series at two games apiece — made up for the lack of drama, and then some, with a back-and-forth game that ended in thrilling chaos.
With Tampa Bay trailing by 7-6 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor misplayed a single by Rays pinch-hitter Brett Phillips, which drove in Kevin Kiermaier from second base, tying the score. Right behind Kiermaier was Randy Arozarena, who seemed to be in position to make it home for the winning run — until he tripped and fell after rounding third base.
But in a second round of luck for the Rays, Dodgers catcher Will Smith also misplayed the relay throw, allowing Arozarena to hop up, slide home and give the Rays an improbable come-from-behind victory. Watching from the dugout, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts took off his hat in disgust as the Rays celebrated having tied the Series at two games apiece.
The Dodgers gave their starter, Julio Urias, a 2-0 lead with two solo blasts by third baseman Justin Turner and Seager off Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough. For Turner, it was his 12th career postseason home run, surpassing Duke Snider for the Dodgers record. For Seager, it was his eighth blast of this postseason, which momentarily tied him with Barry Bonds (2002), Carlos Beltran (2004), Nelson Cruz (2011) and Arozarena (2020) for the most in major league history in a single postseason.
Arozarena, though, quickly erased that. He smashed a first-pitch fastball from Urias over the wall right-center field wall for his ninth homer of the postseason. He has hit more home runs in 23 games this postseason than he has (eight) over 42 career regular-season games.
Arozarena’s two other hits on Saturday inched him closer to another major-league record: his 26 hits in these playoffs have tied him with Pablo Sandoval (2014) for the most in a single postseason.
Even before his mad dash home on Saturday, Arozarena was carrying the Rays’ offense this October. But he got some help on Saturday from Lowe, who was hitting .115 in the postseason entering the World Series, in the sixth inning. With Arozarena on base after a single and Ji-Man Choi drawing a walk, Lowe clobbered his game-changing blast off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez.
This content was originally published here.