LOWE

Tampa Bay Rays’ Brandon Lowe watches his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning in Game 2 the baseball World Series Wednesday.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Brandon Lowe kept finding his name near the top of Tampa Bay’s lineup even as his offensive struggles continued to mount this postseason.

After Lowe finally busted out in Game 2 of the World Series, the Rays and Dodgers are tied deep in the heart of Texas.

“Sometimes guys, you’ve got to allow them to go through some tough patches,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He will go quiet for a little while, but he can get as hot as anybody in baseball.”

Lowe hit two home runs to the opposite field, Tampa Bay’s bullpen held on late and the Rays beat Los Angeles 6-4 on Wednesday night.

“Yeah, those felt really good,” said Lowe, a 2019 All-Star who led the Rays with 14 homers and 37 RBIs this season. “It felt great to kind of get back and contribute to the team. They’ve been doing so well for the past month — it felt really good to get back and actually start doing stuff again.”

Blake Snell struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings for the Rays and didn’t allow a hit until Chris Taylor’s two-run homer trimmed it to 5-2 in the fifth. The Dodgers threatened to complete a big comeback in the eighth, but Tampa Bay’s relievers held firm.

Lowe and Joey Wendle each had three RBIs for the Rays, whose six runs and 10 hits were their most over the past 11 postseason games.

“I think today was a little bit better indicator of the kind of team that we are,” said Wendle, who had a two-run double and a sacrifice fly. “Just a complete win, complete team win.”

Nick Anderson got four outs for the victory. Diego Castillo earned the save when he struck out Taylor, the only batter he faced.

Pete Fairbanks went 1 2/3 innings and left-hander Aaron Loup threw a called third strike past slugger Cody Bellinger with a runner on second to end the eighth. Loup also retired the first two hitters in the ninth.

“They’ve got some really good pitchers. They got out to that early lead and we just weren’t able to overcome it,” Taylor said. “We did a pretty good job of fighting to the end and we just weren’t able to come up with the big hit we needed.”

After an off day, Game 3 in the best-of-seven Series matches two big-game pitchers starting on extra rest Friday night. Charlie Morton goes for the Rays against Walker Buehler.

Los Angeles was the “home team” for the first two games but will bat first in the next three.

Lowe hit a solo shot to left-center in the first off rookie Tony Gonsolin, putting the American League champion Rays ahead for the first time at this neutral-site World Series with their 27th homer of the postseason — matching a major league record. The second baseman was hitting .107 this postseason, and in an even worse 4-for-48 slide (.083) the past 13 games since the start of the AL Division Series.

“You’ve got to able to be tough-minded and Brandon is. A lot of our guys are,” Cash said. “We owe it to our guys to stick with them.

“Brandon, go ahead and get hot now, feel good about yourself.”

By the time Lowe went deep again in the fifth, his second opposite-field homer of the game — and the entire season — it was 5-0. That one bounced off the top of the left-field wall with a runner on against Dustin May, already the fourth Los Angeles pitcher.

Will Smith and NLCS MVP Corey Seager also homered for the Dodgers. Seager’s solo shot in the eighth was his seventh homer and 16th RBI, extending the franchise records he had already set this postseason. It’s the most homers by a shortstop in any MLB postseason.

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