Brandon Lowe’s walk-off blast allows Rays to beat Cubs

Brandon Lowe crushed a walk-off three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied and broke a four-game losing with a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Down 2-1 and with Cubs closer Hector Neris (6-1) on the mound, Jose Caballero slashed a one-out single to bring in Richie Palacios, who led off the ninth with a double.

On a 3-2 splitter from Neris, Lowe rocked his third homer to right center for his fourth career walk-off hit and the Rays’ fifth this season.

Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz and Ben Rortvedt each produced two hits and a walk, while Chris Devenski (2-1) tossed a perfect ninth.

In his second start since coming off the injured list, Zach Eflin yielded two runs by scattering seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk.

Chicago’s Christopher Morel was 2-for-4 with a solo homer and scored twice. Pete Crow-Armstrong went 2-for-4 with a stolen base, and David Bote went 2-for-2 with an RBI.

After allowing five runs on 10 hits in five innings against the Chicago White Sox in his previous outing, Cubs starter Jameson Taillon held the Rays scoreless over six innings of four-hit ball. The right-hander fanned five with a walk.

In just Chicago’s third visit ever to Tampa Bay’s domed park, the National League Central club put itself in a good spot in the second inning after two-out singles by Michael Busch and Crow-Armstrong.
However, following Crow-Armstrong’s eighth steal in eight attempts, Eflin retired Miguel Amaya on a fly to right.

Taillon extricated himself from a similar predicament in the third, getting Lowe on a popout after singles by Rortvedt and Diaz.

Batting cleanup, Morel put the Cubs up 1-0 with a majestic home run to left center, the ninth surrendered by Eflin. The third baseman lifted his 13th long ball, a 409-foot blast, on a 90 mph sinker.

Against reliever Garrett Cleavinger with two outs in the sixth, pinch hitter Bote ripped a hard single on the first offering from the left-hander to score Morel for a 2-0 edge.

The Rays trimmed it to 2-1 in the seventh on a wild pitch from Hayden Wesneski, who was one strike from ending the inning after relieving Mark Leiter Jr.

Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena (right hamstring) was a late scratch from the starting lineup but grounded out as a pinch hitter in the seventh.

–Field Level Media