(Photo credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports)
Manuel Margot delivered a game-ending two-out RBI single to right field in the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Trailing 4-3 in the ninth, Tampa Bay (94-60) tied the score off Los Angeles closer Carlos Estevez (5-5) when Isaac Paredes hit an RBI single with one out.
After a strikeout and a walk to load the bases, Margot hit a broken-bat flair a 1-2 slider into shallow right to score Yandy Diaz and end the game.
By winning four of six against the Angels (69-84) in 2023, the Rays earned their seventh straight win in the season series.
Diaz was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs. Paredes and Margot (stolen base) had two hits and two RBIs apiece.
Rays starter Zach Eflin, who leads the American League with 15 wins, gave up two runs and six hits over fine innings in a no-decsion. He had 10 strikeouts, one off his season high, and one walk.
Andrew Kittredge (2-0) earned the win with a scoreless ninth.
The Angels' Jo Adell went 2-for-3 with a homer. Jared Walsh had a single, reached on a hit by pitch and scored twice. Randal Grichuk (double) and Michael Stefanic each had two hits.
After dropping an 8-3 decision Wednesday night, the Rays saw their first three batters reach base in the opening inning while scoring the first run.
Following Diaz's leadoff walk and Brandon Lowe's hit by pitch, Paredes ripped a double inside the left-field line for a 1-0 lead.
Eflin had seven strikeouts through 3 2/3 innings, including four consecutive, when Walsh singled hard off the pitcher's right thigh. David Fletcher's single scored Walsh, with Adell scoring on the play after right fielder Josh Lowe's fielding error.
The Rays tied the game 2-2 in their half of the fourth on Jonathan Aranda's RBI groundout.
Against reliever Shawn Armstrong, Adell crushed a high four-seam fastball for his second homer, a two-run shot in the sixth inning. It was the Angels' American League-leading 221st home run.
After Lowe's walk and 31st stolen base in the sixth, the Rays chipped away on Margot's double to cut the deficit to 4-3. Following Margot's steal of third with one out, Angels reliever Jose Marte retired Aranda (strikeout) and Rene Pinto (long flyout).
--Field Level Media