A battle of bullpens that saw both teams erase deficits ultimately came down to a misplay in the ninth inning, giving the Tampa Bay Rays an 8-7 walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series.
Though perhaps forgotten amid all the twists the game took, Justin Turner again provided early offense with a two-out home run. He became the first player in World Series history to hit a home run in the first inning of back-to-back games.
The blast also was Turner’s 12th of his career in the postseason, which broke a tie with Duke Snider for most in Dodgers franchise history.
Their 1-0 lead doubled when Corey Seager tagged Ryan Yarbrough for a solo blast of his own in the third inning.
Julio Urias was impressive through most of his outing and was hurt only by a pair of mistake pitches. Randy Arozarena ambushed a first-pitch fastball for a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, and Hunter Renfroe took Urias deep in the fifth inning.
Arozarena made MLB history with his blast as his ninth home run set a record for most a single postseason. It broke a tie with Seager’s eight this October, Barry Bonds (2002), Carlos Beltran (2004) and Nelson Cruz (2011).
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Max Muncy delivered a two-out RBI single in the the top of the fifth, which prevented the Rays from tying the game. Though, that also came with some controversy as Muncy appeared to be pulled off the base by Willy Adames, resulting in the final out being called.
The Dodgers answered Renfroe’s homer in the sixth when walks by Will Smith and AJ Pollock later led to a two-out RBI double from Kiké Hernandez.
Blake Treinen wasn’t overly sharp and allowing the first two batters to reach in the sixth came back to cost the Dodgers when Pedro Baez surrendered a three-run homer to Brandon Lowe.
Seager’s leadoff single and Turner’s double to start the seventh inning were nearly stranded as the Dodgers got down to two outs. Cody Bellinger was intentionally walked, which led to Joc Pederson delivering a two-run single that skipped off Lowe’s glove in shallow right field.
Despite struggling the inning prior, Baez started the bottom of the seventh. The curious decision backfired as he gave up a game-tying home run to Kevin Kiermaier before getting through the inning.
The Dodgers again almost squandered an opportunity when Chris Taylor led off the eighth with a double. But keeping with their two-out magic, Seager fought off a pitch on the hands for an RBI bloop single that held as a game-winning hit.
Tasked with closing out the game, Kenley Jansen allowed a bloop single and walked Arozarena with two outs in the ninth inning. Brett Phillips tied the game with a base hit into center field that Taylor booted but did recover to make an accurate throw to Muncy.
He then relayed to Smith, who dropped the ball and otherwise would have had Arozarena in a rundown.
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