The Tampa Bay Rays have won two games after losing the first one to the New York Yankees, taking one step closer to the Championship Series. Choi Ji-man, Tampa’s Korean slugger, recorded his first multi hits in the postseason.
In Game 3 of the American League Division Series, which took place at Petco Park, San Diego on Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 8-4, leading the series by 2-1. Choi Ji-man, who showed up in three games in a row as cleanup hitter and first base man, pulled off two hits and one run out of five chances at bat, including a two-base hit. Having appeared in a total of 10 games in the postseason, Choi hadn’t managed to find more than two hits.
The game was an epitome of the baseball axiom that a chance always comes up after a crisis. In the bottom of the third inning, Tampa found their bases all loaded but successfully staved off the crisis, minimizing the damage to a single run. In the fourth inning, Kevin Kiermaier smashed a three-run homer from Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, sending home the two runners on first and second base.
In the first half of the fifth inning, Randy Arozarena took down Tanaka from the mound, nailing the coffin with a single home run. In the next inning, the Rays added three more runs including Choi’s timely two-base hitter, stretching the lead to a comfortable 8-2. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer, chalking up home runs in five consecutive games, but the spurt was too late.
“We will do our best to wrap up the series in Game 4,” said Kevin Cash, the manager of Tampa Bay, about the next match taking place on Friday at the same venue.
Kyu-In Hwang firstname.lastname@example.org