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Rays blow late lead, then beat Angels in 10 innings

By Marc Topkin

ANAHEIM, Calif. — After being held without a hit on Tuesday, the Rays improved slightly on Wednesday, rapping five.

That was good enough, as they blew a lead in the eighth inning but rallied in the 10th to beat the Angels, 4-2.

Vidal Brujan began the winning rally against former Rays lefty Aaron Loup, lashing a double down the left field line that scored Kevin Kiermaier, who started the inning as the runner on second. After an infield out, Brujan stole third and pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez delivered another run with a single to left.

Reliever Brooks Raley managed his way through a tense bottom of the 10th to secure the win.

The Rays led 2-0 after seven dominant innings from Shane McClanahan, but Kittredge allowed a leadoff single in the eighth to Jack Mayfield, then — after a fielder’s choice grounder — a two-run, pinch-hit homer to Taylor Ward.

The win snapped the Rays’ three-game losing streak and sent them home on a happy overnight flight after a 10-game, three-city West Coast trip as they improved to 19-13 overall.

Kiermaier had given the Rays a 1-0 lead with a two-out homer in the second off Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani. They made it 2-0 in the eighth playing small ball after Taylor Walls led off the eighth with a single against reliever Ryan Tepera.

Ohtani gets far more attention, given his immense talent as a pitcher and a hitter, and on Tuesday received his 2021 American League MVP award to show it.

But McClanahan was the more impressive pitcher on Wednesday afternoon.

The lefty from USF matched his career high with 11 strikeouts — set two starts ago — over seven innings. He allowed just three hits, while throwing 100 pitches.

Kiermaier’s homer was the Rays’ first hit since Brandon Lowe doubled to lead off the ninth inning Monday, ending a span of 36 plate appearances without a hit. They were no-hit on Tuesday by Angels lefty rookie Reid Detmers.

The pitching matchup was marquee-level, with McClanahan going against Ohtani. It was enhanced by the shadows that crept across the infield given the late-afternoon local-time start.

Angels manager Joe Maddon foreshadowed it in his pregame media session, even predicting a potentially quick game: “(McClanahan) and Shohei, if the shadows show up, heads up. You all are going to be home in an hour and a half.”

The game capped a 10-game, three-city West Coast road trip over which the Rays went 7-3 and concluded a stretch of games on 16 consecutive days, when they went 10-6.

The Rays headed out for an early-morning arrival home and some semblance of a day off before they open a weekend series against the Blue Jays starting on Friday.

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