One out was all that stood between the Los Angeles Dodgers and a 3-1 World Series lead against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
After things didn't go their way in a wild walk-off loss, the Dodgers get less than 24 hours to regroup as the two teams take the field tied at two wins apiece enteringGame 5 on Sunday at Arlington, Texas.
Los Angeles fell 8-7 in Game 4 after Kenley Jansen blew the save in the ninth inning following a series of misplays on defense. With two outs and two men on, a single off the bat of light-hitting Rays reserve Brett Phillips was bobbled in center field by Chris Taylor, whose throw to the plate was cut off before catcher Will Smith had it get by him to allow Randy Arozarena -- who had done a full somersault after rounding third -- to dive home for the winning run.
"It was like an (imperfect) storm. Just unfortunate," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Taylor was charged with an error on the play.
Instead of playing Sunday with a chance to end its 32-year championship drought, Los Angeles will look to keep underdog Tampa Bay from seizing momentum in the best-of-seven series. The Dodgers will send ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.88 ERA this postseason) to the mound opposite Rays righty Tyler Glasnow (2-2, 6.08).
Prior to the ninth inning Saturday, the Dodgers seized control of the back-and-forth affair in the eighth when Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking RBI single. He finished with a home run and four hits in the game, as did Justin Turner. All seven of Los Angeles' runs were scored with two outs.
The Dodgers also received multiple home runs from the offense for the seventh straight game.
"We're going to come in fresh tomorrow," said Roberts. "I think we're very resilient. We're playing good baseball. We got beat, but we'll be ready to go."
The Rays could be playing with renewed energy after the way things went Saturday. "I wish I had better words to describe what the club is feeling like right now," said manager Kevin Cash after the miraculous comeback.
Beyond the heroics from Phillips, who wasn't part of the American League Championship Series roster and hadn't had a hit since Sept. 25, Brandon Lowe slugged a clutch three-run home run and Arozarena, Hunter Renfroe and Kiermaier each hit solo shots.
"It's a testament to the way this team is put together," said Lowe of all the different contributors. "It doesn't matter who you have in the lineup to start the game, who is on the bench, everyone can get used at any time and everyone is going to come in ready to produce."
Arozarena's blast gave him sole possession of the MLB record for a single postseason with nine homers, and his three hits in the game have him tied with Pablo Sandoval in 2014 for most hits in a playoffs with 26.
Kershaw and Glasnow matched up in Game 1 of the series, an 8-3 Dodgers win. Kershaw allowed one run on two hits over six innings, striking out eight. He's four punchouts shy of matching Justin Verlander's all-time postseason record with 205.
Glasnow was tagged for six runs on three hits over 4 1/3 innings, walking six and striking out eight.
--Field Level Media