CINCINNATI (AP) — Mark Kolozsvary scored on a game-ending balk by Matt Wisler in the 10th inning, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Kolozsvary opened the 10th on second as a pinch-runner for Mike Moustakas. He advanced on Nick Senzel’s sacrifice bunt against Wisler (2-3). Albert Almora Jr. walked before Wisler’s balk with pinch-hitter Tyler Naquin at the plate.
“I have no idea what he (Wisler) did,” Kolozsvary said. “I was kind of focused on other things. It was a really good feeling to celebrate with the guys.”
“I didn’t see the balk at all, but we’ll take it,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I’d rather think about getting to that point. So many good things happened. We played a great game to be able to be in the position to win it.”
Wisler was called for tapping his left thigh, a move he said he often uses to get a new pitch signal.
“It’s a move I’ve made lots of times,” he said. “I tap my leg when I want a sign. I feel like I’ve done that lots of times. I’m a big leg-tapper.
“I would like to have had a chance to make pitches instead of losing it that way.”
Tampa Bay had a chance to score in the top half of the inning, but Kyle Farmer cut down Francisco Mejia at the plate on Yandy Diaz’s grounder to shortstop against Josh Kuhnel (1-1). The play was upheld by a video review.
Farmer then snared Wander Franco’s liner and stepped on second for an inning-ending double play.
It was the majors’ first game-ending balk since Dylan Floro for the Dodgers in a 5-4 loss at Seattle on Aug. 18, 2018. It was the first such loss for the Rays in franchise history.
Brandon Drury homered to help last-place Cincinnati win back-to-back games for the first time since June 26 in San Francisco and June 28 over the Cubs in Chicago. Senzel had two of the Reds’ four hits.
Cincinnati has posted its first three walk-off wins of the season in the last six days.
Tampa Bay had won two straight and five of six after a four-game losing streak.
Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan struck out eight while working six innings of one-run ball. He retired his last 10 batters.
Tampa Bay jumped in front on Ji-Man Choi’s RBI single in the third, but that was it for the Rays against Luis Castillo and three relievers.
Castillo struck out eight in seven innings. The right-hander, one of the majors’ top trade targets ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline, is 1-0 with a sparkling 0.90 ERA in his last three starts.
Castillo retired 13 of his last 14 batters.
Drury tied the game in the third with his team-high 18th homer, a booming shot to left that glanced off the façade of the upper deck.
Reds left fielder Tommy Pham wore sunglasses borrowed from a fan while Choi was at the plate in the first. Pham returned the glasses after Choi struck out.
Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said Brandon Lowe (low back discomfort) was “feeling better” after being hit in the head by a pitch in the first plate appearance of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Thursday. Lowe was taking Friday off.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto missed his fifth straight game with back tightness, but Bell said he is improving and could play this weekend. Votto ran and took batting practice and grounders before the game. … RHP Alexís Diaz (right biceps tendinitis) was activated from the injured list.
Reds right-hander Hunter Greene (3-10, 6.01 ERA) and Rays righty Drew Rasmussen (5-3, 3.30 ERA) pitch on Saturday. Greene is 0-3 with a 9.42 ERA in his last three starts. Rasmussen is making his second start since coming off the injured list after being sidelined by a left hamstring strain.
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