The Rays never had a lead in their World Series Game 1 loss against the Dodgers on Tuesday. In the first inning of Game 2, second baseman Brandon Lowe made sure there would be no repeat. With one out, Lowe got things going early for the Rays with a bomb to left-center field off Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin.
Lowe's first-inning no-doubter went 410 feet, per Statcast. It was a loud noise, no? Definitely not a cheap home run.
For Lowe, the hope was the first homer would help him kick things into gear. Perhaps it did, because in the fifth inning he went deep again. Lowe's second homer gave Tampa a 5-0 lead, and the team would hold on for a 6-4 victory to even the series.
This is the 54th multi-homer game in World Series history. The most recent was Steve Pearce in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series. Only Babe Ruth (twice), Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols and Pablo Sandoval have ever hit three home runs in a World Series game. Lowe had two chances to join that elite company, but he was unable to do so. Still, he had a big day and was a big reason the Rays notched a series-tying win.
Lowe came into the game with a terrible 2020 postseason. He was hitting .107/.180/.161 in 61 plate appearances. He was 6 for 56 with 19 strikeouts and just one homer.
In the regular season, it was a different story for Lowe. He likely would've been an All-Star if they had the Midsummer Classic this year. He hit .269/.362/.554 (good for a 152 OPS+) with 14 homers and 37 RBI in 56 games. He led the AL in win probability added and his 2.1 WAR trailed only Jose Abreu, D.J. LeMahieu, Tim Anderson and Jose Ramirez among AL position players.
Quite bluntly: The Rays got to the World Series while dragging along the man who was their best player in the regular season. He went from a centerpiece to an eyesore. Yes, the Rays are in the World Series, but their offense before Wednesday in the playoffs was carried by breakout rookie Randy Arozarena and the random homer. There hasn't been any consistent help elsewhere. They'll hope Lowe's two-homer game was less random and more a great player finally breaking through and getting hot at the right time.