EditorsNote: Changes ‘a’ to ‘an’ before score in lede, removes extraneous ‘an’ before Dansby Swanson’s name in 4th graf
Tyler Flowers signed a contract extension on Tuesday morning, then delivered a pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning Tuesday night to help the Atlanta Braves to a 9-5 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.
Tampa Bay’s eight-game winning streak ended.
Flowers agreed to a $4 million contract for 2019 and an option for 2020. On the field, he came off the bench to club a two-run homer against ex-Brave Chaz Roe (1-3) as part of a four-run rally in the eighth. The homer, his sixth, just cleared the fence in left field. It was his first home run since Aug. 8.
The Braves had taken a 6-5 lead prior to Flowers’ homer when pinch runner Adam Duvall scored on Dansby Swanson’s infield grounder, sliding home just ahead of the throw. Atlanta completed the inning when Ender Inciarte, who went 4-for-4, added a long solo shot to right, his ninth homer.
Atlanta extended its lead in the National League East to 4 1/2 games over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies, who lost 5-4 to the Washington Nationals.
The winning pitcher was Brad Brach (2-3), who retired the only man he faced and earned his first win as a Brave. A.J. Minter worked a scoreless ninth inning, despite loading the bases, in a non-save situation.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran went 5 2/3 innings and left after allowing four runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out five.
Tampa Bay starter Ryan Stanek pitched one scoreless inning before giving way to Yonny Chirinos, who worked five innings and allowed five runs, three of them unearned.
The Rays jumped out to a 2-0 lead. They scored once in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Michael Perez and added a run in the third on Jake Bauers’ sacrifice fly.
The Braves got a run back in the third on an RBI single by Inciarte.
Atlanta rallied for four runs in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Ozzie Albies scored when the Rays botched a Teheran bunt and were charged with two errors. Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Nick Markakis knocked in two more with his 39th double.
Tampa Bay pulled closer in the sixth on Brandon Lowe’s first home run, a two-run shot to center.
The Rays tied the game 5-5 when Tommy Pham scored on Willy Adames’ single in the eighth. Pham was 3-for-5 and scored two runs.
—Field Level Media