Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Randy Arozarena's walk-off blast lifts Rays over Twins

Field Level Media
08 Jun 2023, 11:40 GMT+10

Randy Arozarena hit a walk-off homer leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Arozarena connected on a 98.3 mph splitter on a 1-0 pitch from Twins reliever Jhoan Duran, sending it over the fence in right field for his 12th homer of the season. It was the 107th home run of the season for the Rays, tops in the majors.

Isaac Paredes also homered for Tampa Bay, which earned its fifth consecutive victory and improved to a majors-best 28-6 at home. Jason Adam (2-1), despite blowing a lead in the top of the ninth, picked up the win. Adam was the sixth Tampa Bay pitcher to throw in a bullpen game.

Minnesota, which has lost four games in a row for the first time this season, managed just three hits in the contest, all singles. The Twins wasted a strong start by Pablo Lopez, who allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six in his 92-pitch outing.

Lopez's one mistake came in the second inning to Paredes, who drilled a 1-0 sinker 414 feet, deep into the bleachers in left. It was the ninth home run of the season for Paredes.

Minnesota tied it 1-1 in the ninth against Adam. Donovan Solano was hit by a pitch with one out, and pinch runner Michael A. Taylor then stole second and third. After a Max Kepler walk, Royce Lewis lined a single to left to drive in Taylor and snap the Twins' 18-inning scoreless streak.

It was just the second run scored by Minnesota in its past 31 innings dating back to Saturday.

Willi Castro then was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Adam escaped the jam by getting Ryan Jeffers to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, setting the stage for Arozarena's dramatic game-winner.

--Field Level Media

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