Brandon Lowe hits a homer for the Rays in a historic win

street. PETERSBURG — Unbeaten in their first 10 home games of the season, the Rays finally had to strike in the bottom of the ninth inning for the first time Friday night. Then they did what they’ve been doing all season.

They hit a home run, and won.

And in the ninth minute, Christian Bethancourt halved the Rays’ deficit with a solo right field shot off Reinaldo Lopez. Brandon Lowe then sent the Rays to a dramatic 8-7 victory over the White Sox at Tropicana Field with a two-run homer to right, his first career hit.

“It feels so great. It feels great,” Lowe said afterwards, still in a soaked T-shirt in the following festivities. “I think that might be [the] Honestly, Homer’s first ride in my life. It’s always cool. “

The Rays improved to 11-0 at home on the year, extended their season-opening home run streak to 20 games (tie the 2019 Mariners), and became only the 13th team in the modern era (since 1901) to win at least 17 of their home runs. The first 20 matches. It’s the best start to the season for any team in the Majors since the Red Sox (also 17-3) in 2018.

“It was a good win,” said manager Kevin Cash. “I don’t know if we can say we saw that coming.”

Indeed, Friday’s game had some twists and turns before an exciting finish.

Right fielder Calvin Fuscher, who hit a 13-pitch inning in his second career start, allowed three runs in the second. Then came an uncharacteristic gag of leadership that would have cost Tampa Bay the game if it weren’t for their seemingly indomitable lineup.

The Rays lost the lead while hitting a franchise-record six times over the third of three innings as nine White Sox came to the plate and none put a ball into play. Left-handed Jalen Bix walked a career-high five while recording only two outs, then gave way to right-handed Cooper Cresswell, who gave way to the field before eventually getting knocked out in the first round.

“That’s what makes this win nice is that it’s as good as it gets [our pitchers] Hey, we were able to pick them off in an offensive way,” Cash said. “They definitely did it for us over and over again.”

With an unrelenting attitude and surprising knack for getting deep, this Rays lineup has proven capable of erasing deficits in a hurry.

They hit 45 home runs, the second-most by a 20-game home run in AL/NL history behind only the 2,000 Cardinals (47), and the last two long balls turned the tide of Friday’s game.

“We kept saying, ‘We have to play 27 times,'” Bethancourt said. “We have to keep the streak going, play 27 times and things will happen, and we’ve managed to move forward.”

Yandy Díaz singled to right to bring in Lowe, whose only previous appearance was a sacrifice fly on September 6, 2020. He was “furious” that he had sacrificed his usual swing for the connection.

When he returned to the dugout afterward, Lowe said, he slammed his helmet into its chamber “enough to let out some frustration”.

“Then put it out on the ball,” Cash quipped.

After he went into the two-stroke count in the ninth inning, Lowe said he was content with just moving runner Vidal Brogan but was determined not to make the same mistake he made earlier. Shortening his swing, Lowe swung a full count slider and hoped for the best as he cruised the right field benches.

“I didn’t line it up perfectly, like I feel like I do when I run home,” Lowe said. “I was, like, praying for it to go.”

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