ARLINGTON, Texas – Brett Phillips squatted on the field crying, Randy Arozarena sprawled in the dirt pounding his hands on home plate.
Tears of joy, smacks of celebration — and a crucial, crazy win for the scrappy Tampa Bay Rays.
In one of the wildest World Series finishes ever, the light-hitting Phillips delivered a tying single off Kenley Jansen with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning that turned into the game-ending hit when the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the ball twice, allowing Arozarena to scramble home and lifting the Rays to an 8-7 victory Saturday night that suddenly evened things at two games each.
“Golly, what a special moment,” Phillips said.
The Dodgers led 7-6 when center fielder Chris Taylor misplayed Phillips' ball in right-center for an error and chased it down while Kevin Kiermaier scored the tying run. Arozarena kept charging around third base but stumbled and fell well before reaching home.
He was able to get up and score when catcher Will Smith looked up too early and missed the relay throw, letting it squirt toward the backstop while Arozarena dived on top of the plate.
“Once I saw Randy slip, I was like ‘Aw, shoot, at least we tied it up,’ and then he missed the ball,” said Phillips, who had entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth. “I don’t know what happened, but then he scored. The next thing I know, I’m airplane-ing around the outfield and I get dogpiled and here I am.”
Arozarena said he was trying to retreat to third after tumbling over.