Braves drop Rays, 9-2, now 4.5 games ahead of Phillies
ATLANTA (AP) - Pinch-runner Adam Duvall scored the tiebreaking run on a delayed dash from third base in Atlanta's four-run eighth inning, and the Braves beat Tampa Bay 9-5 on Tuesday night to snap the Rays' eight-game winning streak.
Chaz Roe (1-3) walked Kurt Suzuki to open the eighth. Suzuki advanced to third on Ozzie Albies' third hit, a double to the right-field corner.
Duvall, running for Suzuki, initially remained at third base on Dansby Swanson's groundout to second. When first baseman Jake Bauers looked to possibly throw to second, where Albies was standing off the bag, Duvall took off in a desperate sprint for the plate.
Home plate umpire Chad Fairchild called Duvall safe on his slide under the tag of catcher Michael Perez, beating Bauers' throw to the plate. A video review lasting 1 minute, 45 seconds, confirmed the call.
Pinch-hitter Tyler Flowers, who agreed to a contract extension earlier in the day, followed with a two-run homer that landed in the Rays' bullpen behind the left-field wall. Ender Inciarte, who drove in two runs on four hits, added another homer to center off Andrew Kittredge.
Brad Brach (2-3) recorded the final out in the eighth. The Rays loaded the bases off A.J. Minter with two outs in the ninth. Willy Adames' groundout ended the game, and first-place Atlanta moved 4½ games ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East.
Tampa Bay rallied from a 5-2 deficit to tie it.
Brandon Lowe's first career homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, knocked Julio Teheran out of the game and cut Atlanta's lead to 5-4. Adames' single off Jonny Venters in the eighth drove in Tommy Pham from second.
Nick Markakis doubled in two runs in Atlanta's four-run fifth inning.
The Rays led 2-1 before Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson opened the fifth with singles off the gloves of second baseman Joey Wendle and third baseman Matt Duffy, respectively. Teheran's bunt was mishandled by Bauers for an error and then picked up by Duffy, who threw low to first for another error, allowing Albies to score the tying run.
Ronald Acuna Jr.'s fly ball to center field drove in Swanson. Teheran and Inciarte, who walked, scored on the double to the gap in right-center by Markakis for a 5-2 lead.
Rays opener Ryne Stanek pitched a scoreless first inning before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the second. Yonny Chirinos allowed five runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks in five innings.
Teheran gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Flowers agreed to a $4 million contract for 2019 and a $6 million club option, with a $2 million buyout, for 2020.
Rays: OF Mallex Smith (viral infection) worked out at Tropicana Field after being released from the hospital Sunday. There is no timetable for his return to the team.
Braves: RHP Arodys Vizcaino, who has been out since July 14 while on the DL for the second time this season with right shoulder inflammation, threw in the bullpen. Manager Brian Snitker said Vizcaino is "feeling good now" but needs to appear in a minor league rehab game before more is known about his outlook for this season.
Rays: RHP Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.23 ERA) is expected to make only his third start when the two-game series concludes on Wednesday night. He has appeared in 30 games in relief.
Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (11-6, 3.57) will make his second start of the season against the Rays. He threw six scoreless innings in a 1-0 win on May 8 at Tampa Bay.