SEATTLE — “Manny Mar-go-ahead” was at it once again Friday night.
Two days after striking a tie-breaking, two-run single in the 8th inning of the Rays’ win versus the A’s, outfielder Manuel Margot stepped to the plate at T-Mobile Park with one out in the ninth and Tampa Bay tracking by a run. And he provided in the clutch once again, smashing a consent three-run homer to center field off Paul Sewald.
Reliever Ryan Thompson quit a leadoff homer to Eugenio Suárez in the ninth, however lefty Brooks Raley hung on to maintain the Rays’ 8-7 accomplishment over the Mariners, their 5th straight win.
Jarred Kelenic’s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Thompson put the Mariners ahead by a run heading into the ninth inning, however Tampa Bay would not decrease silently. After Wander Franco lined out, Randy Arozarena reached on a single to left — his 4th hit of the night — and Brandon Lowe whacked a single up the middle.
Up came Margot, who went into the video game in the seventh inning as a protective replacement for Harold Ramirez, who just began in left field since a left knee problem bumped Arozarena to the DH area.
No matter how he’s gotten in a video game this season, the outfielder has actually shown a flair for prompt striking. Along with his game-winner Wednesday in Oakland, Margot struck a walk-off single versus the A’s on April 12. That provided him 4 game-winning RBIs this season, connected for 2nd in the Majors heading into Thursday behind just the Angels’ Taylor Ward, who has 6.
After Wednesday’s video game, Rays outfielder Brett Phillips called Margot “the most underrated player in the league” and bestowed a label upon him: “Manny Mar-go-ahead.” After what he did Friday, it’s tough to argue with either description.