The Tampa Bay Rays took down the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Brandon Lowe hit two home runs for the Rays, who were also aided by Joey Wendle's three RBI off a two-run double and a sacrifice fly.
All of the Dodgers' runs came off homers courtesy of a Chris Taylor two-run shot and solo bombs from Will Smith and Corey Seager.
Tampa knotted the best-of-seven Fall Classic 1-1 with the win. Los Angeles took the first game 8-3 on Tuesday.
Rays SP Blake Snell: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (No Decision)
Rays 2B Brandon Lowe: 2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR
Rays 3B Joey Wendle: 1-for-3, 3 RBI, 2B
Dodgers SP Tony Gonsolin: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (Loss)
Dodgers SS Corey Seager: 2-for-4, R, RBI, HR
Dodgers 2B Chris Taylor: 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, HR
Dodgers C Will Smith: 1-for-4, R, RBI, HR
Brandon Lowe Breaks Out of Slump in Big Way
Lowe, a 26-year-old second baseman, was the engine that drove the Rays offense en route to their American League-best 40-20 record. His 14 home runs led a team that didn't feature anyone else smacking eight or more dingers, and he also posted a stellar .916 OPS.
The postseason had been a nightmare for Lowe, however, as he entered Wednesday 6-for-56 with 19 strikeouts, including an 0-for-18 performance against the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series.
The Rays got by in the playoffs thanks to the legend that is rookie slugger Randy Arozarena, timely pitching and great hitting, but the Dodgers are the best team remaining, and Tampa needed Lowe to get going quickly.
He answered the call Wednesday with two home runs and proved to be the difference in a 6-4 win, giving Tampa Bay enough insurance to hold on for the victory.
Lowe got the night going with a no-doubt opposite-field home run in the first off right-hander Tony Gonsolin to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 edge:
ESPN Stats & Info showcased the importance of Tampa Bay getting on the board first:
Wendle later gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 edge off a two-run double before Lowe went opposite field yet again for a two-run shot off Dustin May in the fifth this time to put his team up 5-0:
The Rays tacked on one more run and then held on for dear life as the Dodgers made their comeback, but Lowe proved to be the catalyst for Tampa Bay's first 2020 World Series win.
Feast or Famine from Dodgers Once Again
The Dodgers have made a habit of either scoring in bunches or not at all during the playoffs.
On one end, they dropped 11 runs in one inning against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series. On the other end, their offense has gone conspicuously quiet at times, like when they scored just seven runs against the Milwaukee Brewers in their two-game Wild Card Series win.
Of course, it's been far more feast than famine en route to the World Series, but the latter reared its head enough Wednesday to seal L.A.'s fate against the Lowe-led Rays.
L.A. couldn't solve Blake Snell, who punched out nine hitters, for the first four innings. In the meantime, Tampa Bay went up 5-0 after the team got to the revolving door of Dodgers relievers.
The powerful Dodgers bats can't be quelled forever, though, as Chris Taylor got things going in the fifth with a two-run blast:
The Rays countered in the sixth on a Wendle sacrifice fly to score one, but Will Smith erased that run with a sixth-inning homer to cut the deficit to 6-3:
The Dodgers kept chopping away when Corey Seager, who has been scorching hot all series, parked one beyond the outfield wall:
L.A. then got the tying run to the dish after Justin Turner hit a double with no outs.
However, a Max Muncy flyout, a sharp (and unlucky) Will Smith lineout to Wendle and a Cody Bellinger strikeout ended the threat.
The Dodgers then quietly went down in order in the ninth, and that was the ballgame.
Game 3 is set for Friday at 8:08 p.m. ET.