ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Osleivis Basabe hit a tiebreaking two-run double in a four-run eighth inning and the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out against Aaron Loup (2-3) before Basabe lined his hit to center over the head of former Rays' player Brett Phillips. René Pinto followed with a single that drove in two more runs.
"I was a little anxious going into that at-bat, especially after having a couple strikeouts earlier in the day," Basabe said through a translator. "I knew I had hit it well. I didn't realize he was playing so far in. Once I saw that he was running back, I was hoping it would score those runs."
Basabe was called up from Triple-A Durham last month when Wander Franco was placed on administrative leave indefinitely by Major League Baseball while authorities in the Dominican Republic investigate the Tampa Bay Rays’ All-Star shortstop for an alleged relationship with a minor.
Randy Arozarena homered for the AL wild card-leading Rays, who started the day 2 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East. The Orioles, who were playing the Houston Astros, hold the tiebreaker.
"We're playing for the division," Arozarena said through a translator. "The 10 games from here on out are very important for us in order to win that division."
Logan O'Hoppe and Zach Neto homered for the Angels, who have lost six in a row.
Los Angeles left fielder Randal Grichuk departed with two outs in the ninth after being hit by a high pitch by Shawn Armstrong.
Angels manager Phil Nevin said the pitch got Grichuk "pretty square" on the helmet extension that protects the face.
"He seems to checking out fine," Nevin said.
Tampa Bay needed just five pitches to take a 2-0 lead in the first when Yandy Díaz had a leadoff double and Arozarena followed with his 23rd homer off Patrick Sandoval.
Díaz had three hits to lift his batting average from from .319 to .323.
O'Hoppe made it 2-1 on a fourth-inning solo homer off rookie Taj Bradley. Neto tied it at 2 against Robert Stephenson (3-4) in the eighth.
Sandoval allowed two runs and five hits in five innings.
"After the first three hitters, I thought he threw the ball very well," Nevin said. "It's just the pitch count (of 100) got high. No reason to push him any further."
Bradley gave up one run and three hits over five innings and had his winless streak reach 10 starts, dating to June 27.
It was announced before the game that Angels star Shohei Ohtani had elbow surgery Tuesday, and his doctor said he expects the two-way star will be available as a hitter on opening day next season and will return to the mound in 2025.
Ohtani tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Aug. 23, ending his pitching season. He continued as a batter through Sept. 3 until an oblique strain.
Los Angeles 1B Nolan Schanuel walked in the third to reach base in 23 straight games to start his career. It ties the St. Louis Cardinals' Luis Alicea for the fifth longest run in the majors since 1961.
Angels: CF Mike Trout (fractured left hamate) accompanied the team on the final road trip of the season and took dry swings.
Rays: SS Taylor Walls was reinstated from the paternity list. … RHP Jason Adam (left oblique strain) threw live batting practice.
Rays RHP Aaron Civale (7-3) will face Angels LHP Reid Detmers (3-10) on Wednesday night. Civale is 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA in eight starts with Tampa Bay since being acquired from Cleveland on July 31. He has lasted 5 1/3 or fewer innings in seven of the eight outings.
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