ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson's bat just keeps stating his case to become the American League's DH at this year's All-Star Game in Miami.
Tuesday night, Dickerson -- currently ranked third in the voting for the designated-hitter spot, helped fuel the Rays' offense with an RBI single and his 16th home run of the season. Alex Cobb pitched in with seven innings, holding the Reds to two runs en route to a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.
"I'm impressed with the way he swings the bat, going the other way," said Rays manager Kevin Cash about Dickerson. "He's kind of similar to Joey Votto, that he shows genuine adjustment when he gets deep in the count, and it's allowed him to find a lot of ways to get hits."
Cobb moved to 6-5 on the season while lowering his ERA to 4.05. Reds starter Amir Garrett, who endured a 37-pitch inning in the third, fell to 3-6. Despite surrendering a 433-foot home run to Votto and an RBI single to Eugenio Suarez with two outs in the ninth, Alex Colome got the job done to record his 20th save of the season. Cincinnati had the potential tying run on first base when Scott Schebler struck out to end the game.
"You couldn't be happier with that part of our game. It's an unrelenting -- anybody who thinks this is a team that is packing it in because we've been losing some games this month doesn't know the ballclub," said Reds manager Bryan Price after his team dropped its 10th game in the last 11. "You have one of the top closers in the American League and the next thing you know we're one swing of the bat from having the lead and having our closer in the game."
The Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead via RBI singles by Jose Peraza and Suarez in the second and third innings. The Rays answered in the third when Dickerson singled home a run off Garrett, and Logan Morrison added a two-run single to put the Rays up, 3-2.
Jesus Sucre homered off Garrett with one out in the fourth with a man aboard. One out later, Dickerson connected on a 1-0 pitch for a solo shot to left, putting the Rays up, 6-2. Dickerson leads the AL with 93 hits and 39 extra-base hits.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Going Low: Sucre's homer run in the fourth threaded through the cutout in the left-field corner, giving him the lowest fence-clearing drive of the season (37 feet at the apex). Historically, the cutout holds a special place in the hearts of Rays fans since it's the locale of Evan Longoria's famed walk-off home run in Game 162, which thrust the Rays into the 2011 playoffs. There have only been five over-the-fence homers hit 38 feet or lower since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. Most important for the Rays, Sucre's homer gave them a three-run cushion.
"As soon as you hit the ball and you start running, you're like, 'Come on, come on, get up,'" Sucre said. "That's what I was doing over there [while running to first] and it went out. That was great."
LoMo's Go-Ahead: The Rays trailed 2-0 heading into the third, but got on the board when Dickerson singled home a run. One out later, Morrison stepped to the plate with runners on second and third and the left-hander Garrett still on the mound. The count reached 2-2 when Morrison singled to left to drive home Steven Souza Jr., and Dickerson to give the Rays a lead, which they would not relinquish.
"Garrett threw some pretty good offspeed pitches, and some sliders," Morrison said. "I was able to get to a fastball down and poke it through the hole."
"We're going to take every win. But we better start cleaning it up, simple as that." -- Cash, on the Rays' sloppy play in the field Tuesday night.
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Votto's homer was his team-leading 20th of the season, the second most in his career before the All-Star break. The only other season he's had more first-half homers was 2010, when he had 22 before hitting 37 overall on his way to becoming the National League Most Valuable Player.
Cobb has not allowed a home run in three consecutive starts, the first time he's done that since July 23-Sept. 23, 2014 (12 straight starts).
The Rays challenged in the fourth when Peraza was called safe at first base after beating out what appeared to be an infield single. After review, it was ruled that the call on the field stands.
Reds:Tim Adleman (4-3, 4.22) will be counted on to help the Reds take the rubber game of the series on Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. ET. Adleman has been dependable on the mound for Cincinnati lately, going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last five starts.
Rays:Erasmo Ramirez (3-2, 5.17) will get the nod for the Rays on Wednesday afternoon when they wrap up their three-game series against the Reds at Tropicana Field. Ramirez's ERA has risen from 2.92 to 5.17 over his last four starts after he went 0-2 with a 10.06 ERA over that span.
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