Jansen blows save, Dodgers squander Game 4, Series tied at 2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Kenley Jansen threw a cutter inside to Brett Phillips for a ball, then a cutter and a sinker for called strikes. One strike to go, and the Los Angeles Dodgers would be one win from the World Series title that has eluded them since 1988. The 33-year-old right-hander had faltered this year, lost velocity, but bounced back. He assured Dodgers fans, and so did manager Dave Roberts. Kevin Kiermaier was on second after a one-out single and Randy Arozarena on first following a two-out walk. Just one more strike to a hitter who figured to be overmatched. After all, Phillips hadn’t even been on Tampa Bay’s AL Championship Series roster, had not gotten a hit since Sept. 25. He wasn’t even with the Rays until an Aug. 27 trade from Kansas City. Jansen threw a cutter to the left-handed batter, over the middle and knee high. And the night came undone for Jansen and the Dodgers. Phillips flared the ball into center field at 83 mph for a single and it bounced twice. Just before it was to land a third time, Chris Taylor tried to scoop it in his glove. The ball got away as Kiermaier scored easily to tie Game 4. “I just thought at least it’s a flare,” Roberts said. “And I’m thinking through the 10th inning, and so then it just kind of spun out right there. So I wasn’t really just prepared for a walk-off in that situation.” But every mistake was compounded. Taylor finally retrieved the ball and threw to first baseman Max Muncy, who relayed home with plenty of time to get a stumbling Arozarena. Dodgers catcher Will Smith, a step in front of the plate and slightly up the first-base line, tried to catch the ball and make a swipe tag in one motion – only Arozarena was not there. He had fallen down and done a 360, popped back up, taken two steps…

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