ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Harold Ramirez had an RBI double in the 11th inning and scored the winning run on a throwing error to lift the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
It was the fifth consecutive win for the Rays, who came back twice in the extra innings.
“To come in and pull that one out, especially when the bats weren’t there early, is huge,” said Rays shortstop Taylor Walls. “Every game matters, especially at this point because it’s going to be a tight race.”
The Rays managed only five hits in winning for the 10th time in 12 games and maintained a slim lead over Toronto and Seattle in the AL wild-card race.
Ramirez scored on a throwing error by first baseman Jared Walsh with one out in the 11th after he had doubled off Jaime Barria (2-3).
“He’s been doing that all year,” Walls said of Ramirez’s clutch hitting. “We almost expect him to do it at this point.”
Taylor Ward’s double had driven in automatic runner Shohei Ohtani that put the Angels up 3-2 in the top of the 11th.
JT Chargois (1-0) got the win after one inning of relief.
Mike Trout, whose home run in the eighth had driven in the game’s first run, hit a two-out ground ball with Walsh on third base to put the Angels up 2-1 in the 10th. Walls’ throw was too low for first baseman Isaac Paredes to handle and Walsh scored on the play.
But Walls tied it 2-2 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th.
Trout’s 26th home run was his fifth of the season against the Rays. It came off Jason Adam, the third of Tampa Bay’s six relievers, after Shane McClanahan pitched six innings in a shutout duel with Angels starter Mike Mayers. The game was scoreless after seven innings.
“Mac was pretty awesome again,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “Their pitchers did a nice job, too, and we just couldn’t find a way to get him a run, get him a lead, anything.”
Yandy Diaz led off the Rays eighth with a single off Ryan Tepera, and pinch-runner Jose Siri stole second base on Tepera’s first pitch to Brandon Lowe. After Lowe’s ground ball moved Siri over to third, he beat a throw to the plate to score the tying run after a grounder by Ramirez.
“(Siri’s baserunning) was very impressive because I hit that ball hard (against a drawn-in infield) and he was still safe at home,” Ramirez noted.
McClanahan did not give up a run for the first time in 12 starts since June 9. He struck out nine, with four hits and one walk.
Mayers pitched five shutout innings, giving up hits only to the first two batters he faced, Diaz and Lowe. It was only his fourth major league start and first of the season in 193 major league appearances.
“In the last seven years I’ve learned a lot in the bullpen that helped me tonight,” said the 30-year-old right-hander. “First and second and nobody out is nothing new coming out of the bullpen. So at that point it’s ’Let’s do whatever it takes to get out of this and figure it out from there.‴
It was the longest scoreless appearance of Mayers’ career.
SS Wander Franco took batting practice with the Rays regulars Wednesday, but it has yet to be determined when he can return to a rehab assignment. Franco had surgery on July 12 for a hamate fracture on his right hand, and his rehab has been set back by recurring pain in the hand.
TROUT SCORES AGAIN
Trout’s second home run in two nights tied a franchise record for runs, pulling him even with Garrett Anderson at 1,024.
RHP Drew Rasmussen (8-4, 2.82), who Saturday became the first Rays pitcher to carry a no-hit bid into the sixth inning in back-to-back starts, will pitch Thursday’s series finale against LHP Patrick Sandoval (4-8, 3.14).